How to prevent and spot overuse injuries

Jeff Faucheux, LAT ATC CTPS CES
Guest Contributor
Plaquemine Post South

Injuries from sports are almost impossible to avoid, but following the suggestions below can help prevent injuries and reduce the risk of long-term complications.

What types of injuries occur?

Athletes of all ages sustain two types of injuries in playing sports: acute and overuse. Acute injuries usually result from a single, traumatic event and may include wrist fracture, ankle sprain, and shoulder dislocation. Overuse injuries are more difficult to diagnose and treat because they are usually subtle and occur over time. When repetitive trauma affects the tendons, bones, and joints, an overuse injury develops. Without adequate rest and recovery between training sessions an overuse injury can occur.

Common examples include tennis elbow, swimmer's shoulder, Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures.

Why do injuries occur?

There are various reasons why an injury might occur, including improper training, improper technique, equipment failure, and/or anatomic or biomechanical issues of the athlete.

How can I tell if my child is injured?

Most adolescents will let you know when they are hurt, but for those kids who try to tough it out, parents and caregivers should watch for signs of injury, such as, avoiding putting weight on a certain body part (e.g., ankle or wrist) or favoring one side of the body over the other (i.e., limping), appearing to be in pain when using a particular body part, and inability to sleep.

What are some indications of overuse injuries for all ages?

--Shortness of breath/trouble breathing during activity.

--Headaches during or after activity.

--Appearing to experience stiffness in the joints or muscles.

--Dizziness or lightheadedness.

--Difficulty sitting and/or climbing stairs.

What are some ways to prevent injuries?

Having an annual pre-participation physical exam allows for the screening, prevention, and treatment of any conditions. In addition to pre-participation physical, one should also do a musculoskeletal health assessment.

Integrated Health will be holding an Educational event on January 25, 2020 for 10:00 at Choices Family Medical center for all health care providers, trainers, coaches, and parents who want to learn more about musculoskeletal health assessments utilizing Musculoskeletal Advanced Movement Systems.

Email or for registering. We are limiting the event to the first 30 registers.

Integrated Health is a health management solutions company that promotes musculoskeletal health via active and passive range of motion assessments. Benefits include injury prevention, improved performance, faster recovery, and feeling healthy. Jeff Faucheux, LAT ATC CTPS CES specializes in Ergonomics in the Workplace. Brandon Albin, MHRD, ATC, director of musculoskeletal assessments, is a former Division 1 collegiate director of sports medicine who specializes in injury prevention and corrective exercise. 800-292-1617 Choices Family Medical Clinic