Every athlete should know what an overuse injury is. It’s important to their safety, health, and long-term performance. However, if you’re new to the game, we want you to know how to protect yourself and prevent any mishaps for occurring.

Overuse injuries from sports typically affect one or more areas of the musculoskeletal system. This may lead to:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • Immobility
  • Limited motion

While there are effective treatments for these sports injuries, it is always better to take the preventative approach. Here are five steps to preventing an overuse injury:

Step 1: Make Sure to Warm Up Before Playing a Sport

Use specialized warm-up techniques to prepare the body’s muscles, tendons and ligaments. Concentrate on preparing the group of muscles that are frequently used for your particular sport. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest of your body! Learn your body and understand how other areas can incur an overuse injury.

Step 2: Wear Protective Gear While Practicing and Playing

Our clinic experts can help an athlete choose the right protective gear for a sport. Using items such as heel cups, arch supports, and customized shoe inserts can protect your feet from an overuse injury. Additional protective gear includes supportive and padded braces for the knees, ankles, or wrists.

Step 3: Consume a Healthier Diet to Strengthen the Body

If you aren’t consuming a nutritious diet, then you risk having weak bones and cartilage that are susceptible to damage. A nutritionist can help you plan a healthy daily diet that provides enough vitamins and minerals to keep the body in top-notch condition to avoid an overuse injury.

Step 4: Athletes Should Learn How to Move Their Bodies

In some cases, an overuse sports injury occurs because an athlete has poor body mechanics. We can help athletes learn how to move correctly while jumping, running or performing other motions. By using the body properly, you can prevent an overuse injury to a joint, muscle or bone.

Step 5: Athletes Should Listen to Their Body

It is important for our patients to listen to their bodies attentively if they participate in frequent physical activity. You know yourself the best, so it is up to you to reach out for help if it’s needed. Even if you suspect something is wrong – slight discomfort or a mild ache – it is important to protect your future athletic performance by requesting assistance from a professional.

Most overuse injuries occur several years after beginning a sport, but there are early signs of the problem long before there is serious damage.

If you are suffering from an overuse injury or suspect you have one, please come visit us for a consultation. Call 806.350.BONE (2663).