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Physiotherapy for Overuse Injuries

What Are Overuse injuries?

Overuse injuries refer to any injury resulting from repetitive trauma to a specific part of the body, often associated with excessive or repetitive use of a particular muscle, joint, or tissue. Examples of overuse injuries include tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon) and stress fractures (microscopic fractures in bones due to repeated stress). These injuries typically occur when the body does not have sufficient time to recover between repeated stresses, leading to cumulative damage over time.

What Causes an Overuse Injury?

  • Repetitive Movement: Engaging in the same motion or activity without adequate rest can lead to overuse injuries.
  • Excessive Training: Sudden increases in intensity, duration, or frequency of physical activity without proper progression can contribute to overuse injuries.
  • Poor Technique: Incorrect form or technique during exercise or sports activities can increase the risk of overuse injuries.
  • Inadequate Recovery: Not allowing sufficient time for the body to recover between sessions can contribute to overuse injuries.

What Are the Symptoms of Overuse Injuries?

Overuse injuries manifest through symptoms such as persistent pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected area, often accompanied by reduced range of motion and muscular weakness. The injured site may also be warm to the touch or red. Discomfort typically intensifies during or after specific activities.

How Do You Diagnose Overuse Injuries?

The diagnosis includes a clinical evaluation, with the possibility of using X-rays, MRI, or other imaging methods to evaluate the affected area and identify issues like stress fractures or inflammation. Training routines, movement, and overall physical activity will also be reviewed; this is essential for uncovering potential causes of overuse injuries.

How Do You Use Physiotherapy to Treat Overuse injuries?

Physiotherapy treatment includes:

  • Biomechanical Analysis: Assessment of movement patterns and biomechanics to identify and correct issues contributing to overuse injuries.
  • Rest and Modification of Activity: Temporary cessation or modification of the activity causing the overuse injury to allow for healing.
  • Ice and Compression: Application of ice and compression to reduce inflammation and manage pain.
  • Tailored Exercises: Targeted exercises to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility, addressing imbalances contributing to overuse injuries.
  • Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques such as massage, joint mobilisation, or stretching to improve tissue flexibility and joint function.
  • Gradual Return to Activity: A structured plan to reintroduce physical activity gradually, allowing the body to adapt and reduce the risk of re-injury.
  • Education: Providing guidance on proper warm-up, technique, and training principles to prevent future overuse injuries.

UPMC Physiotherapy Locations

We offer physiotherapy services to treat overuse injuries at the following UPMC locations:

Make an Appointment

You do not need a referral to make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists. To schedule an appointment with UPMC Physiotherapy Services, please contact us at one of the locations listed above.

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