Overuse injuries, as their name implies, are injuries that stem from too much strain on a certain area in your muscles or your joints, which can lead to issues like stress fractures or tendon problems. Because the problem is one that can get worse over time if not treated properly, it’s important to recognize the early signs so as to prevent bigger problems down the road.
At No Mercy Sports Medicine, under the expert direction of Dr. Moisés Irizarry-Román, our team specializes in musculoskeletal problems such as overuse injuries. These types of injuries can develop anytime you overstress a specific area of your body, and they’re not confined to athletes or any particular age group — they’re as prevalent among kids as they are among adults.
To help you maintain your active lifestyle, we’ve pulled together the most common signs that indicate you may be developing an overuse injury.
Overuse injuries almost always start out small, and you may feel a nagging pain or ache in your joint or muscle, especially after heavy use. This pain typically increases the longer you keep using the damaged area, often to a point where the pain is constant.
If your muscle or joint is stiff after use or difficult to warm up after a period of inactivity, this, too, is a sign of an overuse injury. When your body senses damage, it creates inflammation to protect the area, which is what’s responsible for the increasing stiffness.
Direct swelling and tenderness to the touch are signs of an overuse injury. These symptoms often mean that your overuse injury has advanced, which makes coming in to see us more important than ever.
Another clue that you may be developing an overuse injury is the absence of direct trauma or damage. If your pain is gradual, as we described above, and there was no single precipitating incident, the odds are good that it’s an overuse injury.
The most common areas where overuse injuries develop are:
While active adults of any age can develop an overuse injury, they’re more common as you get older and your connective tissues become weaker. On the other end of the spectrum are kids who are still developing. Overuse injuries can occur in a child’s growth plates, which requires prompt attention so your child can continue to develop without any issues.
The bottom line is that you should come see us at the first signs of a problem — and nagging pain is usually that sign. We have a number of different treatments, including stem cell and platelet-rich plasma therapies, which can help get you back to pain-free movement.
To schedule an appointment, contact one of No Mercy Sports Medicine’s two locations in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Florida.