Common Overuse Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Feb 16, 2022 | Blog

Overuse injuries occur when you repeat the same actions over and over again, putting too much stress on specific parts of your body. You can experience a variety of overuse injuries, but some are more common than others. Learn more about common overuse injuries and how to avoid them.

Achilles Tendinitis

Runners often experience Achilles tendinitis. It usually occurs due to improper training. For instance, if you increase your mileage more than your fitness level will allow, you could develop this overuse injury. Going too fast off the starting line can also cause the Achilles tendon to become painfully inflamed. It can even happen if you push yourself to reach top speeds that your body isn’t ready to reach. 

While this is a painful condition, it can also be avoided. Always stretch before running, paying special attention to your calves. Also, ensure you maintain proper balance by strengthening your core and legs. Do not increase your running distance too quickly, and take your time coming off the line. Also, never go faster than your body allows. If you train responsibly, you can avoid this injury. 

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is commonly known as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is usually caused by putting too much stress on the knee while running, climbing stairs, or jogging. The pain presents in the front of the knee and around the kneecap. If you suffer from runner’s knee, simple activities such as climbing the stairs can be too much to bear. 

Runner’s knee can stop you from training and enjoying everyday activities, so it is best to avoid this overuse injury. Start by wearing the right footwear when running. The right shoes will minimize the impact on your knees. Also, check your gait. If your gait is too long or short, you will put too much stress on your knees. Also, if your gait is off-balance, you can develop runner’s knee. 

IT Band Syndrome

Cyclist, runners, and weightlifters often require medical intervention after developing IT band syndrome. This injury affects the connective tissue that is located on your outer knee and thigh. If you have IT band syndrome, you’ll likely feel a shock of pain when your heel hits the ground, especially when running. 

Using proper form is critical to avoid IT band syndrome. Putting your knees out or in too far will put undue stress on the IT band. It’s vital that your knee is always over the foot, whether you are cycling, running, or lifting weights. 

Lateral Epicondylitis

You likely know lateral epicondylitis by its common name, which is tennis elbow. This overuse injury isn’t just experienced by tennis players, though. Weightlifters and baseball pitchers often get this injury, and manual laborers can get tennis elbow, as well. If you have tennis elbow, the outside of your elbow will feel tender and painful. You also might have some discomfort in your hand and forearm.

You can avoid this overuse injury by relegating some of the load to your other muscles. Using a splint when engaging in activities that cause tennis elbow can also help you prevent the problem. Also, build up the strength in your forearm. The stronger your forearm is, the less stress you will put on your elbow. 

Be Mindful of Repetitive Use Injuries

Anyone can develop overuse injuries. You can get hurt training for a sport or simply going to work. You might even end up with an overuse injury when you exercise to get healthy. Fortunately, these injuries can be prevented. Be mindful of what you need to do to avoid the most common overuse injuries.