Elyse Zandegu, Remedial Massage Therapist at Body Motion Physio.
Elyse Zandegu, Remedial Massage Therapist at Body Motion Physio.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse Injuries – What are they?

Overuse injuries refer to specific injuries, which are sustained from repetitive action (e.g. long distance jogging) as opposed to acute injuries, which occur in an instant (e.g. sprained ankle). Another commonly used term for it is ‘repetition strain injury’ or RSI.

Repeated movements or awkward postures result in small injuries; when the injuries happen again and again, the body cannot always keep up with the healing process. Repeated movements cause wear and tear on the muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves of the body. This damage leads to pain, inflammation and loss of function.

Why do they occur?

The principle cause of overuse injuries is a rapid increase in frequency, intensity or duration of a repetitive type action. The condition occurs when any biological tissue – muscle, bone, tendon, ligament, etc. – is stressed beyond its physical limit.

Overuse injuries can happen at work or at play. They often happen in sports when a new sport or activity is started, when an athlete tries to do too much too soon, or when the same movement is repeated over a long period of time.

Physiotherapy can help!

Physiotherapy should be considered as a starting point for anyone who is suffering from overuse injuries / RSI symptoms. Physiotherapists are trained in the complete picture, from the management of the immediate injury, to the return to sport and decreasing the risk of re-injury.

This includes help in:

  • pain relief
  • tissue healing
  • exercise prescription and self- management strategies for the injury
  • improving flexibility and strength
  • identifying and correct biomechanical and training errors
  • prevention advice.

If you experience pain, find out why it is occurring. Physiotherapists can help you overcome an injury as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of overuse injuries are:

  • Pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Restricted mobility of the joint

Common overuse injuries are:

  • tendonitis
  • tennis / golfers elbow
  • arthritis
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • low back strain
  • shin splints

Prevention is the best option!

  • Do not over-do one activity, as this places repeated stress on your tissue.
  • Rotate your activity so that you give your body time to recover.
  • Pain is an indication that you may be damaging your body.

If you would like to book in with one of our highly qualified Physiotherapist’s or you would like to find out further information about Overuse Injuries, just give us a call on (03) 9873 3333 or email us.