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

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food. Click here .

Heat Illness

heat illness

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.

Every summer, hundreds of people experience sun-related illnesses and heat. Being prepared and hydrated avoids theses situations.

Why

When an athlete exercises, his/her body temperature increase and the body sweats to cool the body. During this process, body fluids and electrolytes are lost. If the boy is not recharged with fluids and electrolytes, it’s dehydration and it increase the risk of heat illness as a heat stroke.

Symptoms

Symptoms are :

  • Chills

  • Dark colored urine

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Thirst

  • Weakness

If the heat illness progress, there are more serious symptoms like :

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Body temperature increasing to dangerous levels

  • Muscle cramps

  • Nausea

  • Tingling of the limbs

  • Death

How to prevent

The most effective treatments for heat illness are :

  • Proper training for the heat

  • Fluid replacement before, during, and after exertion

  • Appropriate clothing (light colored, loose fitting and limited to one layer)

  • Early recognition via direct monitoring of athlete by other players, coaches and medical staff

  • Monitoring the intensity of physical activity appropriate for fitness and how an athlete has acclimated to conditions.

  • If possible, having an athletic trainer on site during events and practices to properly prevent and treat heat illnesses.

In situations where the training program is intense or during a trip in a hot climate, an athlete should limit the intensity and duration of the training session. Thereafter, the athlete will increase the training’s intensity for a period of 7-14 days to allow to the body, the time to adjust to the climate and environmental conditions. For athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal or other diseases, they should especially evaluate these new conditions.

When an athlete should hydrate

hydrate

It’s necessary to hydrate before, during and after a training session. Drinking 47cl (16 ounces) of water is recommended 1 hour before exercises. Hydration should continue with 11-23cl (4-8 ounces) of water every 15-20 minutes throughout the effort

There is a trick to track the hydration’s level is to weigh before and after a physical activity. If the athlete is lighter after a physical activity, this means that there a deficit of fluids (indicated by weight loss) and it’s necessary to recharge them. For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink more to evaluate the losses (perspiration). An athlete who loses more than 2-3% of his/her bodyweight during exercise may decrease the performance and the body’s physiological function.

If the athlete is heavier after a physical activity, it means that there is a surplus of fluids (indicated by gain weight). For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink less to evaluate the surplus.

How to treat it

When you see signs of heat illness or heat stroke, it may be an imminent danger of death. It’s necessary that a person immediately call for medical assistance while you’re cooling the person at risk.

Treatment included :

  • Getting the athlete to a shaded area

  • If it heat stroke, cool the athlete rapidly using cold water immersion. If immersion is not available you may use spray from a hose, cold water sponging, or placing cold towels over the entire body

  • Monitoring body temperature

  • Providing cool beverage if possible (i.e., if the athlete doesn’t have altered consciousness).

  • Getting medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion is a type of heat illness that can happen after several days of exposure to high temperature and improper or unbalanced fluid recharging.

Statistics

  • Heat stroke is a type of serious illness related to heat. It can cause death to athletes and this is probably the leading cause of athlete death during the months of July and August.

  • The body produces 1.8 liters (a half of gallon) of perspiration to cool the body every hour. If there are not enough fluids or the heat is overwhelming the body, the person may develop heat-related illness.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.