Are overuse injuries plaguing our youth?

When I was an athlete in my youth, I never would have thought overuse injuries could be possible. I would keep going and going and not think twice about the strain I was putting on my body. All that mattered to me was being active and competing with my team and myself. Overuse injuries seem to be a more currently talked about topic. Children are facing pressure to perform not only from themselves, but from family and coaches. Overuse injuries are preventable with proper training.

The most common causes of overuse injuries are…

Training too much, too quickly and using improper technique.

Training too much, too quickly – Our bodies need time to adapt to physical stress. Generally, you should not increase your training program by more than 10% each week. This includes length of training, intensity levels, and types of exercises.

Using improper technique – Improperly doing exercises is another chief cause of injury. This can lead to muscle and tendon strain, as well as more serious injuries. If you are unsure of how to properly do an exercise, ask a trainer at your local gym or your athletic coach, and they will be happy to assist you. They can also help to identify any muscle imbalances. By doing exercises properly, you will also get more benefit from your workout.

Other helpful tipsBe sure to stretch before and after workouts. This will help to prevent muscular injuries. Try to diversify your workout and not do very long runs every day or very short, high intensity sprints every day. Include a combination of both in your weekly routine. If you tend to lift heavy weights every day, make sure you save a day or two for cardio and use this as your recovery time. Rest days are important.

Common Overuse Injuries

If you feel that you may be suffering from an overuse injury, please seek medical attention. You may need diagnostic imaging such as x-rays or an MRI. If treated appropriately, overuse injuries can be healed before they spiral out of control.

If you suffer from a foot or ankle injury, call Bergen Medical Associates today at (201) 967-8221 for an appointment. We are serving the Northern New Jersey and Rockland County areas.

By Samantha Rosenzweig, DPM

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