Overuse injuries occur when repetitive microtrauma overloads the capacity of a tissue to repair itself. Any repetitive activity can lead to an overuse injury, and it can happen anywhere in the body.
An overuse injury can often be as a result of over training or over loading. The causes of overuse injuries can be divided into extrinsic factors (training surfaces, shoes, equipment and environmental conditions) and intrinsic factors (biomechanical malalignment, muscle imbalance/weakness and lack of flexibility).
Common examples of overuse injuries are:
- Tennis / Golfers elbow
- Throwing / Swimmers shoulder
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Anterior knee pain
Physiotherapy can help by examining the area thoroughly and treating the underlying pathology. The next step is to determine why the overuse injury occurred and implement changes to technique or the environment to ensure that the injury doesn’t reoccur. Physiotherapy treatment is directed at decreasing pain and restoring and/or maintaining function and may involve hands on therapy, soft tissue work, exercises, tape and/or work related to technique.