Overuse injury is one of the most common injuries seen in sports. No matter whether your a sports professional or simply a once-a-weeker, you are not only at risk of sustaining a chronic injury but no matter how frequently you play you are in danger of causing further, long term damage.
The problem with overuse injuries is that because the injury is classed as minor, pain can be tolerated and players tend to carry on participating in their sport. These injuries are usually a result of repetitive strain put on part of the body or from not allowing the body enough time to recover after a previous injury. The issue is that athletes tend to leave these ‘niggling’ injuries until the pain begins to worsen or becomes unbearable, by which point the injury will have developed into something that often requires medical assistance and a longer period of recovery.
Overuse injuries can be found in both the higher and lower regions of the body and range from injuries such as rotator cuff tendonitis usually found in overhead throwing sports, tennis and golfer’s elbow, Achilles tendonitis and more serious; stress fractures. Stress fractures from overuse injuries are usually found in the foot, lower leg and hip and require a longer period of recovery and if left improperly treated can lead to long term injury as a result.
Unfortunately there isnt a quick cure for an overuse injury however if you want to minimise the effects it is always recommended that you rest the injury, giving it plenty time to recover and gently easing the injured area back into sport afterwards. If you find that you are prone to a particular injury, you may find that re-evaluating the way you use that particular area whilst playing can allow you to stop any bad habits you may have picked up causing you to sustain the injury in the first place.
Of course like with any injury, if you are in any doubt of your injury you should always stop partaking in your sport and consult medical advice.