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What Is an Overuse Injury Anyway?

Written by Heidi Christensen, MD

While acute injuries typically occur as the result of a single, traumatic event, overuse injuries develop more gradually over time.  They are the result of repetitive micro-trauma to bones, tendons, and joints and can occur in both adults and kids.  Common examples include Achilles tendinitis, tennis elbow, and stress fractures.  Because overuse injuries can be subtle and are often not associated with trauma, they can be difficult to diagnose.  They can be very challenging to treat, as well, as treatment typically differs from that of acute injuries.

Overuse injuries are very preventable and training errors are the most common cause.  Here are some helpful recommendations to prevent overuse injuries:

  1. Know your limits — Pushing yourself beyond your body’s capabilities is not always a good thing.  While it can be good to challenge your body so you continue to reach new heights in your sport or workouts, going to the extreme can cause injury.
  2. Pace yourself — Abrupt increases in training commonly lead to overuse injury, such as stress fractures, amongst other injuries.
  3. Imbalances in strength and flexibility — Ensuring that your body is properly conditioned for the sport or recreational activity in which you participate is commonly overlooked.  Stretching and building strength in muscle groups that are essential for the sport you play are key. 
  4. Get the correct equipment —Whether footwear or protective gear, it is more important than you think to use the proper equipment for your sport.
  5. Get the correct diagnosis — It is important to seek medical advice from a physician who is trained in diagnosing and treating overuse injuries, such as a Sports Medicine physician.  Although some injuries can be successfully treated at home by some good old ice and rest, many people incorrectly diagnose themselves.  Getting an accurate diagnosis allows for implementation of plans for treatment and future prevention that are tailored to you and your injury.
May 17, 2018 | By CSilberman | Category: Athletics and Activities

District News

The Douglas County School District Board of Education welcomes Dr. Thomas S. Tucker into the role of Superintendent of Douglas County School District. Dr. Tucker officially leads the 68,000 student district as of July 1, 2018.

 

Nearly 1,500 Colorado students applied for the prestigious Boettcher Foundation Scholarship this year, with 42 being named recipients. Of those, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) is proudly home to four recipients.

 

When it comes to mental health services, communities traditionally focus on supporting kids as needs arise. This work is crucial for the safety of our students. Equally important, though, is prevention-based programming that can help, early on, prevent the social-emotional challenges our kids may be experiencing from escalating.