We often take simple things in life for granted. For example, imagine suddenly being unable to grab an object or walk without discomfort.
Overuse injuries can easily lead to situations like these. One of the most common forms of overuse injuries stems from mobile phone ownership, as people are constantly interacting with these devices. To manage an overuse injury effectively, you’ll need to understand the causes and available treatment options.
We’ve created a brief guide that outlines the key information you should know. Let’s explore what to keep in mind when dealing with repetitive strain.
What Is an Overuse Injury?
As the name implies, an overuse injury is one that occurs from repetitive activity. When someone is physically active, they essentially create micro-injuries.
More specifically, these involve micro-tears in muscles and tendons and microfractures in bones. When the body has enough time to heal, these injuries actually make your body stronger. However, these micro-injuries can evolve into larger issues if you don’t give your body enough time to rest.
Eventually, they can turn into overuse injuries. These aren’t as debilitating as acute injuries, but they can still cause significant distress. For example, let’s assume you experience an overuse injury in your wrist.
You can find it difficult to move your fingers on that hand or grab objects. You might also experience chronic pain. This can make your life exponentially more difficult, especially if you have a job that requires manual labor.
One of the most common causes of overuse injuries is performing activities too frequently. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many people who experience this condition develop it while playing sports or lifting weights. Other risk factors include having a poor level of conditioning or prior injuries to the affected area.
Adolescents are also more prone to developing overuse injuries. This is due to the impact that growth has on the body during these years. Poor technique is also a significant contributing factor.
When you perform a lift or movement improperly, you’re placing undue stress on the wrong areas of the body. Over time, this can lead to an overuse injury.
While these issues can cause significant problems in your life, they’re relatively easy to prevent. Allowing time for adequate recovery and rest is the best way to do so. Some people have difficulty determining when they’re ready to perform an activity or movement again.
There are generally two types of soreness:
- Soreness that you “feel”
- Soreness that causes legitimate pain
If a movement hurts to perform, you need more time to rest. If you can simply tell that you’ve recently been active, you’re likely fine to exercise.
Using the correct technique is also essential for preventing this issue. When lifting or working out, aim to make gradual increases in weight or intensity instead of drastic jumps.
Some people may need to work with a coach or trainer to ensure they’re maintaining proper form. While this requires financial investment, the knowledge you obtain is worth it.
Symptoms of Overuse Injuries
Overuse injuries can manifest in many forms. One of the most significant variables is the part of the body you injure. For example, a shoulder overuse injury will have different symptoms compared to one that affects the wrist or hand.
In general, though, you can expect to feel stiffness, tingling, numbness, or weakness. The latter is particularly concerning for many people, as it can affect their day-to-day life.
Some people experience a popping or clicking sensation when moving the affected body part. Depending on the circumstances, your symptoms may come and go.
Some people only experience symptoms when performing certain movements. Others experience them sporadically throughout the day.
Taking time off isn’t always enough to relieve your symptoms. This can easily become frustrating, as abstaining from athletic activity is the only way for the affected area to heal.
For some people, taking time off isn’t an option. For instance, let’s assume a college athlete is dealing with an overuse injury.
This condition isn’t often serious enough to warrant their coach replacing them with another player. So, they might be forced to play through it.
To accommodate symptoms, cross-training is a common method athletes use. This involves training alternative movements or disciplines while the affected area is healing.
After healing has occurred, it’s recommended to perform rehabilitative exercises to restore mobility and eliminate pain. These go a long way regarding how effective your recovery process is.
Finding a Doctor
The medical professional you work with plays a large role in how quickly you recover from your overuse injury. Choosing the right person can also get you the best results. When searching for a doctor, consider their past reputation.
See what other people have to say about their experiences at a particular clinic. Check to see if they work with your insurance provider, as well.
Medical treatment can quickly become expensive. This is especially true if you require multiple sessions.
Many reputable providers offer chiropractic health plans to ensure you have access to affordable pain relief. Assess how enthusiastic the doctor is about helping you before making your decision.
If they don’t seem interested, this is a sign you should look elsewhere. Always visit the facility beforehand.
Pay attention to how the clinic staff greet you when you walk in and how clean the facility is. If something feels off, don’t be afraid to continue your search elsewhere. With enough due diligence, you’ll find the ideal candidate for your needs.
Take Action Immediately
It’s imperative to handle an overuse injury as soon as it occurs. Left unchecked, it could evolve into something worse and further impact your quality of life. The tips in this guide will ensure you make the right decision and resolve this issue promptly.
Anthem Chiropractic has proudly served patients for over 25 years. Our team can quickly handle chronic pain/discomfort and get your life back on track without incident. You can learn more about the benefits we provide by booking a consultation today.