4 Signs You're Developing an Overuse Injury

Overuse injuries occur in people of all sizes and ages, from kids to adults. Athletes are especially vulnerable due to the repetitive nature of sports. Medical Director Cary Nelson, MD, Executive Director Kari Hawkins, DC, and our experienced staff at Advanced Integrative Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California, help you or your child recognize the signs of overuse injuries and offer relief through physical therapy and other integrative solutions.

Common repetitive sports injuries include:

  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Pitching elbow
  • Runner’s knee
  • Tennis elbow

 Here are four ways to tell whether your pain is due to overuse or other issues.

SIGN 1: Gradual onset of pain

If you sprain your ankle, you immediately feel pain. When persistent pain comes on gradually, it is more likely due to overuse. One of the most common examples is carpal tunnel syndrome. If you frequently perform repetitive tasks such as typing or texting and repeatedly feel tingling, pain, or numbness in one or both hands, you may suffer from this malady. We identify how you’re blocking the nerves or tendons between your palm and forearm and suggest options to reduce your pain.

SIGN 2: No direct injury involved

Elbow and shoulder pain is often related to overuse or misuse rather than a one-time injury. Examples include tennis elbow and runner’s knee. We suggest:

  • Warmup exercises to increase flexibility
  • Icing the area or using anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling
  • A plan to help manage your pain
  • Ways to modify repetitive movements

SIGN 3: Your pain persists 

When faced with swelling, we often recommend RICE:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate
  • If this technique fails, and your pain persists whenever you perform a particular activity, it is often due to overuse. Pitching or golfing while your body feels fatigued, for instance, can result in chronic shoulder or elbow pain. Our knowledgeable team can suggest exercises and minimally invasive therapies, such as joint injections or heat therapy, to help your body heal.

    SIGN 4: Aching after activity

    A variety of repetitive actions, from hiking to working on a computer, can produce pain over time. If your foot hurts after a short jog, for instance, you may suffer from plantar fasciitis on the bottom of your heel. We determine whether your shoulder bursitis stems from swinging a golf club, serving a tennis ball, or some other, health-related issue. Repetitive motions from gardening to hammering can inflame tendons over time, resulting in tendinitis. Our staff employs a healing arsenal to relieve your pain and/or adjust your activities to prevent injury in the first place.

    Minimal changes lead to maximum results

    Slight alterations during or after certain activities can ease overuse injuries. We suggest you:

    • Start slowly when engaging in a new physical activity
    • Warm up your muscles, tendons, and joints
    • Stretch or perform a few jumping jacks to get limber
    • Vary your movements with a variety of sports from yoga to swimming
    • Employ the proper techniques
    • Train correctly to minimize injury

    We help you stay in the game

    Our caring team at Advanced Integrative Medical Center provides various therapies to help you remain active. We offer in-person and telemedicine consultations. Just give us a call at 424-210-8093 or /appointments today.

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