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Overuse/Work-Related Injuries

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive strain on the muscle bone and other connective tissues of the body. Minor damage to the body may occur regularly as a result of sports participation or during the course of your working day. It could be in the form of micro tears to ligament tissue, strains to overloaded muscles or minor micro fractures to bones form repeated moderate impacts. Often, the tissues involved heal quickly and you are never aware they existed. What makes overuse injuries different, is the lack of time to recover between periods of stress on the tissues involved. This results in the minor damage being compounded and building over time until it is sever enough to limit normal activity.

Unfortunately many people wait until the injury inhibits function before seeking medical intervention. Early detection of a minor injury allows you to adapt your activity to allow for healing, whilst continuing with work or play sports. For easy identification, overuse injury development can be broken down into four basic stages. They include;

  • Pain or discomfort that fades once you have warmed up during activity.
  • Pain or discomfort that fades once you have warmed up, but returns after activity ends.
  • Pain or discomfort that becomes worse during activity.
  • Pain or discomfort that persists during activity or rest.

If your symptoms of pain match either stages 3 or 4 it is recommended to cease any activity that is likely contributing to the injury. A therapist can then treat you for your injuries to achieve a quick and full recovery. If untreated, the overuse injury could fall into a chronic cycle of inflammation that leaves you unable to work or play sports without pain and limitation.

An overuse or repetitive strain injury may initially develop as a result of poor joint flexibility or core stability, leading to overstretch. Sometimes muscle imbalance or specific weakness impedes your ability to generate or absorb forces evenly or effectively. For a few people biomechanical abnormalities causing inefficient or excessive movement during activity produces extra stress on the muscles and joints. Whatever the cause, when you seek Osteopathic or Physiotherapy care, our experienced therapists will conduct a thorough assessment to identify the cause of your injury. This will include a detailed subjective history to establish the circumstances of the overuse injury, identifying contributing factors. Followed by a comprehensive physical assessment that will locate and evaluate the specific type and severity of your overuse injury.

Once your injury has been assessed and the causes understood a personalised rehabilitation programme can be developed to relieve symptoms and achieve your recovery goals. Some of your treatments may include;

  • Heat treatment, including ice, to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
  • Advice on activity modification during recovery and to avoid future overuse injuries.
  • Soft tissue massage to relieve pain, stiffness and tension.
  • Electrotherapy to encourage soft tissue healing.
  • Advice on sports technique and the appropriate use or choice of equipment.
  • Development of a rehabilitation programme to progressively return to normal activities, including work and sports participation.
  • Gait re-education to reduce uneven wearing at the joints, typically the back, hip, knee and ankle.
  • Stretching exercises to maintain and improve muscle length and flexibility.
  • Strengthening exercise to stabilise joints and improve performance.
  • Functional exercises to improve dexterity and ability to perform specific sports or work tasks.

If you would like more information on how osteopathy of physiotherapy can help treat overuse injuries, or want to book an appointment, please email info@nickcastle.co.uk. or phone us on 0207 394 0799

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