Pain Relief For Arthritis Happy Valley & Sandy, OR

Preventing Overuse Injuries In Athletes

injury Preventing Overuse Injuries In Athletes

“I have done this for years, why did it just start hurting?”

We have all been there. Minding your own business and all of a sudden your _____________ starts hurting for no good reason. You haven’t changed how much you walk, run, bike, swing, ski, or anything like that. You wait a few days, maybe it goes away on its own, maybe it doesn’t. Finally you go see someone and you get told, “it’s an overuse injury.” What does that mean anyway? More importantly how do you get it to go away and never come back? Better yet, how do you get it to not happen in the first place?

Overuse injuries can show up for a lot of reasons:small changes in what you are doing, switching equipment, gradual adjustments in technique, bad luck, or perhaps your body’s way of reminding you to assess what you are doing. In the age of interwebs, I’m sure you can find any number of remedies to your aliment. However, these may or may not work out. Here at Ascent Physical Therapy we do science. That means evidence backs up our recommendations.While doing science recently, we came across a really cool review of sports injuries in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It looked at different types of injury prevention strategies in a wide range of sports (lunch time walkers to competitive athletes). The injury prevention strategies they examined included stretching programs and strength training. What they found was that adding stretching had no statistical reduction in acute or overuse injuries. However, strength training showed nearly a 30% reduction in the rate of acute injury and 50%in overuse injuries.30-50% people!

Who does strength training help the most?

It is unlikely that strength training for injury reduction would help power lifters and other power based sports as much as they do to most other sports (ultimate Frisbee, golf, skiing, hiking, mall walking, etc.). You do not have to be able to back squat 1000 lbs to keep your knees from hurting when you run or practice soccer drills with your kids. That being said, if you find that you can jog for hours, but fall apart when you have to do speed work, run a hill or put your bike on top of your car, then this is likely very overdue information.The ability to push harder than the minimum requirements of the activities that you do regularly seems to reduce injuries.

injury1 Preventing Overuse Injuries In Athletes

Before you try anything like this please read the rest of this article. However, if you can do this please stop by the clinic and show us because we have to see it in person.

How do I get started?

Don’t worry, we will keep this simple. While the gym is a great place to work on strength,simply starting with adding the concept of an “interval” to some of your adventures is a good first step. An interval is not strictly speaking strength training, but they do require more strength to perform so they can be used as a substitute for true strength training.

For example, if you are a walker, and you happen to walk 30 min 5 days a week at a steady pace you could introduce intervals by trying this:pick a day and warm up as usual, walk briskly for a short period of time (try 1-2 min to start) and then slow back down to your usual pace, repeat this 5-10 more times.Obviously this can be more finely tuned but it’s not a bad idea to start simply.We happen to know some PT’s who are really good at helping you do this.

It is also worth mentioning that the higher the level of activity, the more specific you want to be with your strength training. Someone who commutes 50 miles per week by bike has a higher need for injury prevention strategies that are specific to their needs than someone who commutes 5 miles per week.We will write more ideas for advanced options later. Want specific suggestions? Tell us what you are interested in in the comments section.

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