How to Avoid Overuse Injury
The high-impact and repetitive nature of running incurs cumulative stress that results in micro trauma that eventually leads to injury. Injuries vary, but the cause is most often due to two things: overuse and muscle imbalance.
Overuse is caused from a rapid increase in the intensity, duration, or frequency of activity. Muscle imbalance is a fundamental contributor to overuse injury. Muscles surrounding the joints act as shock absorbers, as well as initiating and controlling the movement of your body. When muscles become fatigued after prolonged or excessive activity the muscle is no longer an effective shock absorber. The muscle itself is also damaged by fatigue, resulting in loss of strength and flexibility. This muscle fatigue contributes to less efficient form and decreased stride length and stride rate, and also increases your risk of injury.
The most common overuse injuries are Tendonitis, Bursitis, Runner’s Knee, Patellofemoral Pain, IT Band Syndrome and Plantar Fasciitis. The knee in particular is very susceptible to an overuse injury from muscle imbalance. Weakness in the hamstring or quadriceps increases strain to the ligaments of the knee. Muscle imbalance in the hip can also cause knee problems.
Some people are more prone to overuse injuries because of disparity between strength and flexibility, and body misalignment, such as unequal leg lengths, feet pronated inward or outward, flat feet or high arches.
The best injury prevention begins with proper running form and technique, and includes a gradual increase in training intensity, duration or distance. Increase by no more than 10% each week until you reach your goal.
Strength training, flexibility exercises, and core stability will help minimize overuse injuries.
Listen to your body and don’t discount minor aches and pains that could signal something more serious. Have minor issues checked out by a specialist. Even pain that subsides during a workout can still indicate a potential injury. Early identification and treatment will allow you to continue your activity. Don't ignore pain!
Until an injury is properly diagnosed and treated you should cut back on intensity, duration and frequency of running. Warm up with dynamic stretches. Cross train with workouts such as biking, swimming, and walking.
If pain persists a sports injury specialist can develop a treatment plan that should include a review of your training program, as well as identifying factors such as imbalance in strength or limberness. Targeted therapy specific to your injury can have you back on track with your training in as few as 3 or 4 treatments.
Active Release Technique® stimulates repair and accelerates healing by restoring normal tissue texture and reestablishing full flexibility, balance and stability. What makes ART® different from physical therapy and other treatments is how it identifies and heals scar tissue adhesions that are interfering with normal strength and flexibility, not simply stretching out the muscles. ART® is completely natural and non-invasive and can prevent the need for more invasive treatment.
ART® combines intense active movement-based massage and joint mobilization techniques, which sets it apart from passive massage and physical therapy. At Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care you receive a personal treatment plan geared to your training or recovery goals. We begin by undersanding what you do in relation to your sport or daily activity, evaluate your posture to ensure equal and correct balance, and create a plan with a goal. We are dedicated to keeping up with the most effective procedures that provide significant positive results. These can include stretching, strengthening, manipulation, cardiovascular exercise, and other modalities to thoroughly cover all the bases. Our multidisciplinary approach leaves no stone unturned. Our approach is as unique as you are.
Dr. Jon DeGorter is the USATF Long Island Chair of the Sports Medicine Committee, and part of the Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care team. Dr. Jon specializes in treating runners and triathletes — keeping athletes doing what they love to do