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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Mature Athlete

mature athlete

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.

Physical exercises are for everyone, including the mature population. Exercises allow older people to keep a healthy body and maintain their independence. The main health problems of the mature population are arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, depression and hearing and sight loss. With the exception of hearing and sight loss, all these health problems can be serious decrease with an adequate workout program.

All mature athletes should have a complete medical and musculoskeletal assessment before starting any workout program. Having a complete medical examination, medical advice and a workout program helps to avoid serious injuries and health accidents. These 3 things should meet the needs of a mature athlete to avoid disease, increase endurance, strength, body image and competitiveness.

Exercises are beneficial

It’s important that a qualified personal trainer create a specific workout program to improve strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. If the workout program includes sports such as golf or tennis, the technical knowledge of the golf/tennis instructors is helpful to avoid injury and improve performance. For results, workout programs must be consistent for at least 30-45 minutes, 3-4 days a week.

If physical conditions require correction, a cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation program or physical therapy may be helpful before starting a workout program. These rehab programs should be taught to mature athletes at a fitness level where they could continue with their own workout program.

Exercise type for the workout program

physical exercise type

An athlete should use types of exercises based on his/her desire, pre-existing conditions and his/her ability to exercise without pain. For an athlete with lower extremity joint problems such as arthritis or instability, it’s recommended to avoid exercises with repetitive impacts like running. For athletes with an unstable shoulder, it’s recommended to avoid overhead exercises such as military press and pull-ups.

Using several types of exercise to improve strength, can allow better recovery of muscle and tendon tissue. If a mature athlete wants to make a sport that can aggravate a pre-existing problem on a muscle, tendon or bone, that athlete should be in a good condition before doing this sport. It’s recommended to decrease this sport’s frequency to reduce the painful symptoms.

What equipment to use

Having shoes that fit with the exercise and/or the sport is beneficial. If the person has a foot with significant deformity such as flat feet (fallen arches), using orthopedic shoes helps to reduce stress on the entire lower extremity. The symptoms of arthritis in the knee may be decrease by the use of specialized braces.

Prevent injury or discomfort during exercise

If there is discomfort during or after physical exercise, this should be analyzed to prevent it from starting again or getting worse. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory can be used in the short term if there is no interference with other medical conditions. It’s important to know that the use of ice, heat, massage and flexibility programs can decrease several symptoms caused by exercise.

There is more aggressive treatment with narcotic analgesic and/or cortisone injections but this should only be used to treat a specific lesion. This shouldn’t be used to allow an athlete to complete in the short term.

Summary

Creating a customized workout program with a medical professional and/or a qualified personal trainer helps a mature athlete to :

  • Keep independence

  • Increase physical abilities

  • Prevent injuries

  • Improve the quality of life

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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.

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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

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Machine Crunch

machine crunches

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the machine with your hands holding the handles. Your feet wedged under the pads :

  • Inhale and round your back to bring your torso to your thighs.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise is excellent because it allows you to adjust the weight relative to your level. You can use lightweights if you’re a beginner or heavyweights, without risk, if you’re an athlete.

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-Steph

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Abs Stretching

abs stretching anatomy

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

Lying on your stomach on your hands with your arms extended :

  • Straighten up your chest slowly by tilting your head back slightly

  • Maintain this position for few seconds while breathing slowly to feel the stretching of your abs.

Variant

It’s possible to make this movement with your hands on a bench and your feet on the floor, or you’re lying on your back on a big ball (Swissball).

Note

Stretching of abs can be an important element in some sports like throwing sports, especially the javelin. In this type of sports, it’s essential to have good flexibility and a good abdominal amplitude to make the movement perfectly.

Attention

Abs stretching are to be avoided in case of lumbar pathology.

different pelvis position man woman anterior superior iliac spine pubic tubercle anatomy

abs pregnant woman child belly weight antomy

Note

The position tilted forward (anteversion) of women’s pelvis allows a portion of the child’s weight to be transferred to the abs. By analogy, abs muscles can be compared to a « hammock ».

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-Steph

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Specific Bench Sit-Ups

specific bench sit up

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Your feet wedged under the pads with your torso in the void and your hands next to each ear :

  • Inhale and raise your torso to try to touch your knees with your head rounding your spine.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement.

specific bench sit up

flexor muscle thigh

This exercise is excellent for working rectus abdominis and a little bit your obliques. It’s good to know that during anteversion of your pelvis, iliopsoas, rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae are strongly solicited.

Note

This movement requires good power in abs. It’s necessary to do exercise easier before to gain this power.

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-Steph

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Incline Bench Sit-Ups

incline bench sit ups

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the bench with your feet under the pads and your hands behind your neck. Inhale and tilt your torso without ever exceeding 20° :

  • Move your torso back up by slightly rounding your back to better target the effort on recuts abdominis

 

  • Exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise work the entire rectus abdominis muscles and iliopsoas, rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae (these last 3 muscles help pelvis anteversion). This movement is to do with high sets.

Variant

incline bench sit ups

When you back up, you can do a rotation of your torso to transfer a part of the effort to the obliques.

Example

A rotation to the left work more intensely right abdominal external oblique, left abdominal internal oblique and rectus abdominis on the right. Twists can be done alternately or unilaterally. The goal is to focus on the muscular sensation and it’s unnecessary to incline the bench too much.

Diagram showing the senses of action of abdomen muscle and the system of viscera’s compression

action abdomen muscle system viscera compression

 

  1. Rectus abdominis

  2. Abdominal external oblique

  3. Abdominal internal oblique

  4. Transverse abdominal

With quadrupeds, the entire rectus abdominis muscles passively support the viscera (like a hammock ) and help a little in locomotion.

With human being in bipedal mode, the entire rectus abdominis muscles have hugely strengthened so that the torso and pelvis is upright and prevent the pelvis from tipping excessively during walking or running. They became powerful muscles of contention and they built a strong core to maintain viscera in an active way.

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-Steph

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