Overuse Injuries

overuse injuries sport injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

There are 2 types of injuries : Acute injuries and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are usually caused by a single traumatic event. Here are some examples :

  • Wrist fractures

  • Ankle sprains

  • Shoulder dislocations

Acute injuries are less common in sport than overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are usually subtle and appear over time, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. Here is some example :

  • Tennis elbows

  • Swimmer’s shoulder

  • Pitcher’s elbow

  • Runner’s knee

  • Achilles tendinitis

  • Shin splints

Why

Human body is extraordinary to adapt to physical stress. We’re used of thinking that « stress » is bad for our emotional well-being, but physical stress is simply doing an exercise or activity. This is beneficial for our muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. This physical stress causes an internal process called remodeling. Remodeling process involves both the breakdown and the build up of tissue. It’s necessary to have a good balance between 2, if breakdown occurs more rapidly than buildup, an overuse injury occurs.

Causes

overuse injuries sport injury gym fail

Usually, it’s training errors that cause overuse injuries. These errors are too fast acceleration of intensity or duration or activity frequency. These injuries can also happen to people who return to the sport/activity after an injury. They try to make up for lost time as quickly as possible to reach the level they had before the injury. Doing an exercise with a good technique is important to avoid overuse injuries. When the exercise’s technique is bad, it creates overuse injuries. It’s for this reason that coaches, athletic trainers and teachers can play a preventive role so that athletes avoid overuse injures.

There are people who more easily have overuse injuries. An unbalance between strength and flexibility around certain joints predisposes some people to have this type of injury. Body alignment, such as knock-knees, bowlegs, unequal leg lengths and flat or high arched feet, also impact overuse injuries. There are also people who have weak links because of old wounds, incomplete rehabilitation of wounds or others anatomy factors.

Other factors must also be taken into account as equipment such as the type of running shoe or ballet shoe and terrain (hard versus soft surface in aerobic dance or running).

Diagnosis

Generally the diagnosis is based on the athlete’s history and physical examination. It’s recommended to make a diagnosis with a sports medicine specialist with a specific interest and knowledge of your sport. In some situations X-rays, bone scan and MRI may be necessary.

Treatment

overuse injuries sport injury ice

Here are some recommendations for treating an overuse injuries :

  • Cutting back the intensity, duration and frequency of an activity

  • Adopting a hard/easy workout schedule and crosstraining with other activities to maintain fitness levels

  • Learning about proper training and technique from a coach or athletic trainer

  • Performing proper warm-up activities before and cool down after

  • Using ice after an activity for minor aches and pain

  • Using anti-inflammatory medications as necessary

If symptoms persist, a sport medicine specialist may create a more detailed treatment plan for your specific condition. This may involve an exam of your training program and an evaluation of predisposing factors.

Prevention

Majority of overuse injuries can be avoided with a proper training program, common sense and learning to listen your own body. The quote : « No pain, no gain » doesn’t apply here. The 10% rule helps a lot to get things to the next level.

In general, you should increase the training’s intensity to a maximum of 10% per week. This allows your body to have enough time for recovery and response. This rule should be used to increase pace or milestone for walkers or runners. Or for the weights amount to increase for strength training programs. In strength training, add flexibility exercises and core stability exercises help tremendously to minimize overuse injuries.

It’s recommended to seek advice from sports medicine specialist or athletic trainer to prevent chronic or recurring problems. Your training program can also be modified to maintain fitness levels safety while you recover from your injuries. You must return to the sport only if an authorization is granted by a health professional.

Remember, it’s very important to warm-up before training and cool down after training.

Stats

3.5 millions of children are treated for overuse injures every year.

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-Steph

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Machine Trunk Rotation

machine trunk rotation abs

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Attention

Torso’s rotation in the machine are proscribed for people suffering from lower back or having already had a herniated disc, as they might aggravate or reappear this lumbar pathology.

machine trunk rotation abs

Standing on the turntable with your hands on the handles :

  • Rotate your pelvis from one side to the other, keeping your shoulders fixed and controlling the rotation. Your knees are slightly bent to avoid the risk of ligament stretching.

This exercise works mainly external and internal obliques and a little less rectus abdominis. Sets with high reps give better results.

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-Steph

Roman Chair Side Bends

roman chair side bends, abs

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

This exercise is working on the bench originally planned for lumbar extension.

Put yourself on the side with your hip on the bench and your torso in the void. Your hands are behind your head or on your torso and your feet are wedged under the pads :

  • Do a lateral flexion of your torso upwards.

This movement works mainly obliques and rectus abdominis on the side of flexion. But obliques and rectus abdominis on the opposite side also works by making static contraction (isometric contraction) to prevent your torso from falling below the horizontal.

Note

During the lateral flexions of your torso, quadratus lumborum muscle works always.

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-Steph

Dumbbell Side Bends

dumbbell side bend

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing wit your legs slightly apart with one hand behind your head and a dumbbell in the other hand :

  • Do a lateral flexion of your torso on the opposite side of the dumbbell

  • Return to the start position or go beyond it by doing a passive flexion of your torso.

  • Alter the sets by changing the dumbbell aside without recovery time.

This exercise works mainly on the flexion side obliques and a little bit rectus abdominis, deep muscles of the back and quadratus lumborum.

quadratus lumborum

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-Steph

Broomstick Twists

broomstick twist

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with your legs apart and the stick placed on your trapezius above your posterior deltoids. Your hands are on the stick but don’t press on it :

Make a torso rotation on one side then the other, keeping your pelvis motionless with an isometric contraction of your glutes.

This exercise works when your right shoulder is forward : the right external oblique, left internal oblique and a little bit rectus abdominis, quadratus lumborum and extensor spinae on the left side.

For more intensity, it’s possible to slightly round your back. A variant is to do this movement sitting on a bench, which will block your pelvis and focus the effort on your abs.

seated broomstick twist

It’s with sets of several minutes that you get the best results.

Attention

Torso rotations are prohibited for people suffering from low back or having had a herniated disc as this may aggravate or resurgence of this lumbar pathology.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Hanging Leg Raises

hanging leg raises

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Suspended on a chin-up bar :

  • Inhale and back up your knees as high as possible by approaching your knees to your torso.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise works :

  • The iliopsoas, rectus femoris, tensor fasciae latae when you raise your legs.

  • The rectus abdominis and a little less obliques work when you move your knees to your torso.

To target the work on abs, it’s advisable to make small oscillations of thighs without never having the knees below the horizontal.

Attention

Rotations of the torso to the machine are proscribed for people suffering from low back or having already had a herniated disc.

Variant

hanging leg raises variant

By raising your knees on the side alternately to the right and to the left, obliques work more intensely.

Abdominal lumbar balance

It’s necessary to work in a balanced way the abdominal’s muscles and the back’s muscles (erector spinae). A lack of tone of hypertonicity of one of these two muscle groups can create a bad posture, and over time, create pathologies.

Example

Hypertonicity of the lower part of the erector spinae (sacro lumbar mass) with a hypotonicity of the muscles of the abdomen, will create a hyperlordosis with an abdominal ptosis. This postural defect can sometimes (if it is taken in time) be diminished by exercises of reinforcement of the abdominal muscles.

Conversely, hypertonicity of the abdominal muscles with loosening (hypotonicity) of the erectors spinae, especially in the upper part (multifidus spinae, longissimus, iliocostalis), will create a kyphosis (rounding back ) with loss of lumbar vertebral arch. This postural defect can sometimes (if it taken in time) be diminished by exercises of reinforcement of erectors spinae muscles.

Hypertonicity erector spinae muscles lumbar vertebral arch Hypotonicity abdominal ptosis

Kyphosis Hypotonicity erector spinae muscles lumbar vertebral arch Hypertonicity abdomen

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-Steph

Leg Raises

leg raises

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

On your elbows with your back on the backrest :

  • Inhale and back up your knees to your torso by rounding your back to feel your abs contraction.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise works the hips flexors, mainly iliopsoas, obliques and rectus abdominis (it’s the inferior part of the rectus abdominis which works intensely).

leg raises

action iliopsoas muscle

Variant

  1. To target the work on abs, it’s advisable to make small swings of legs with your rounded back, without ever lowering your knees below the horizontal.

  2. To increase the intensity, the movement can be done with your legs stretched but it’s necessary to have a good hamstrings flexibility.

  3. You can keep your knees grouped to your torso for a few seconds to have an isometric contraction.

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-Steph