Overuse injuries in training are common. Tendonitis, shin splints and tennis elbow are a few examples of overuse injuries and often rest, stretches and isolation exercises are the prescribed treatment protocol.
It may be that this kind of treatment will be all you need to return to training but often an injury can return, especially if your training involves the same kind of movement repeatedly – think running, tennis or golf.
If your training involves a repetitive movement (like weight lifting, running or golf) and you have an overuse injury, then it’s likely that the way you move is at least partly to blame.
What Causes Overuse Injuries?
Overuse injuries are often caused when a muscle is pushed too hard. You may push a muscle too hard in one training session or it may take several training sessions or even years to develop an injury in this way.
Either way, it’s almost certainly the way that you move that has caused the problem.
This thought process can also explain why a running injury can come on “all of a sudden” – often it is associated with a skill change that can be there for a number of reasons, including fatigue, increased training volume, a new technique or even new footwear!
If you’ve experienced an overuse injury out of the blue then ask questions as to why your movement may have changed…
- Have been using a different technique in your training?
- Are you doing a new kind of training or new movements in your training?
- Has your body started moving differently because of another injury?
- Have you got new shoes?
- Have you changed your training volume recently?
Interestingly the above list can also be used as strategies to rehabilitate an injury!
Rehabilitating Overuse Injuries
Rather that focusing on a specific muscle, a functional approach to rehabilitating an overuse injury looks at the way that you perform the movement in question and then looks to change the way that you perform that movement for a better outcome.
In the same way a golf coach would alter your golf swing for a better outcome, we look at your movement and alter it for a better outcome.
Sometimes this means creating motion in one area of the body while protecting another, and other times it means taking your body through motions it’s been avoiding after injury.
Using this approach you can be as broad or as specific as you want in training, either focusing on one joint or joints, or looking at you movement as a whole.
Once your rehab strategy is in place it’s then a case of managing your training, rehabilitation and rest so that you can continue to train and get back to full fitness as soon as possible.
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