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Not Another “Overuse Injury”

“Overuse injury” is a term that is oftentimes too near and dear to endurance athletes.  It is also a term that shutterstock_106892909irks me like nails on chalkboard.  Before you think I am going to hop onto a soap box of semantics, allow me to explain why the label “overuse injury” can actually be detrimental to an endurance athlete.  If you had an “overuse injury” what do think you should do?  If you thought rest, ice, and take anti-inflammatory medications, you would only be partially correct. Doing those things are often very helpful in reducing the pain and swelling of a fresh injury; however, if your treatment does not go beyond a hiatus to fend off the “overuse”, then that injury will likely reoccur when you return to your sport. Unfortunately, I frequently see athletes after they have suffered through cycles of injury, rest, return to sport, then injury again. If overuse injuries were simply overuse, then why isn’t rest the cure? Why does Joe (a recreational, 3 days per week, occasional 5k runner) get an “overuse injury” that Jim (a competitive, 20+ miles per week, frequent marathon runner) does not? It is because an “overuse injury” is not primarily caused by overuse. After your initial period of rest and ice, make sure your mechanics, training regimen, and sporting equipment are assessed. Those factors are likely the culprits, not overuse.

1 reply
  1. Tom striggow says:

    Amen ! I heard this statement from many”Dr” that I went to but they only wanted to treat the symptoms not the cause
    Thank goodness I met you now I’m running and cycling after 2 yrs of not being able to do what I truly love to do!
    Thanks Alisha

    Reply

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