Overuse syndrome is a condition characterized by chronic irritation to a body part by repeatedly overusing or exerting too much strain. The impact may seem insignificant, but when it occurs repeatedly, the contestant strain can cause damage to your body. Most common are injuries to athletes or those who perform repetitive movements. If not allowed enough time to heal fully, the stress and trauma to soft tissues become irritated leading to bigger problems.
Examples of overuse injuries include tendonitis, shin splints, stress fracture, and carpal tunnel syndrome. They are caused by a variety of reasons, mainly due to:
– Doing too much, too soon
– Using poor technique
– Doing only one type of movement
– Improper equipment
– Lack of nutrition
Tendonitis is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon due to excessive, repeated strain. Among the body parts affected are the elbow (“tennis elbow”), knee (“jumper’s knee”), the back of the heel and ankle (Achilles’ tendinitis).
Shin splints are often used to describe pain along the shin of the leg. This common injury involves the muscles or tendons that surround the tibia, also known as the shin bone.
A stress fracture is a “fatigue fracture of bone caused by repeated application of a heavy load, such as the constant pounding on a surface by runners, gymnasts, and dancers.” (6) A stress fracture is commonly seen in the foot and shin bones. Stress fractures are commonly seen in athletes who run and jump on hard surfaces, such as distance runners, basketball players, and ballet dancers.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common problem that affects people who use their hands excessively.
Overuse Syndrome and Prevention Methods
There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of overuse injuries:
- Rest – It is important to take off at least one to two days a week to let your body rest.
- Avoid Over Training – Athletes think more exercise is better, and they fail to get adequate rest. Weekly training time, number of repetitions, or total distance should increase by no more than 10% weekly.
- Participate in one activity – Advise athletes to participate in only one activity each season to avoid taking too much on.
- Nutrition – Keep well hydrated and eat well balanced meals.
- Painful – If the activity is painful, the individual should stop performing the activity.
- Use proper equipment – Get fitted for sneakers, train on soft surfaces, and get fitted for proper equipment.
- Warmup – Always stretch before and after a workout. A warmup should consist of at least 5 minutes of jogging 5 minutes of cool-down.
- Pre-sports physical – An individual should get a pre-sports physical to ensure their body is in good healthy shape.
Written by: Sharan Kaur, FizzNiche Staff Writer
1. Quinn, Elizabeth. “Chronic Aches and Pains.” About.com. Web. .
2. “Overuse Syndrome.” Primary Issues. Web. .
3. “Overuse Syndromes.” Orthoseek.com. Web. .
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5. Adams, Chris. “What Is Tendonitis?” About.com. Web. .
6. “Stress Fracture.” Dictionary.com. Web. .