Overuse and fatigue injuries are common. Here's how to avoid them.

Two of the Most Common Spring Injuries ... and How to Avoid Them

Mar 07, 2022

We are all naturally less active in the colder months. There is less to do outside and we have less motivation. With warmer spring weather arriving, our motivation and activity levels rise with the temperature! 

The increase in activity level also means an increase in injury prevalence. Many of the most common injuries we see are from overuse. We are all excited to get back to hiking, running outside, golf, tennis, pickle ball and generally being active! As a result, we tend to overdo it. Our bodies are not in peak shape to dive right into our favorite activities for long periods of time. This is a tough pill to swallow, as we want to enjoy the weather and the activities we love. 



Two of the Most Common Spring Injuries ... and How to Avoid Them




Tendonitis is very common when talking about overuse. Tendonitis occurs when a tendon is inflamed or irritated, usually associated with micro tears caused by overuse. Common tendonitis injuries include tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis), and achilles tendonitis. It can also be an issue in the shoulder (pitcher’s or swimmer’s shoulder) and in the knee (jumper’s knee or patellar tendonitis). We see these issues when overdoing activities like running, playing tennis, playing pickle ball, swimming and playing other sports involving throwing motions or jumping. 

The good news is that overuse injuries are preventable! To reduce injury prior to an activity, complete a 5-10 minute dynamic warm up. The warm up will pump nutrient rich, oxygenated blood to your muscles as it speeds up your heart rate and breathing. Studies have shown, dynamic warmups prevent injury and also improve performance.  (Check out our dynamic warm up here: Dr. Dan's Dynamic Warm-up)




Injuries are also more common when we are fatigued. When our bodies get tired, muscles are less efficient and we have a harder time stabilizing and controlling movements. It is important to acknowledge when we are fatigued and muscles feel tired. If we continue to push, it becomes a situation where injuries can happen. A great way to help prevent injuries from fatigue is to have the patience to gradually ramp up the activity. Ramping up the activity over a period of time will give the body the chance to get into peak shape and performance. For example, if a runner is training for a marathon, they would design a program that gradually increases in mileage to get them ready to run the full race. They wouldn’t try to run 20 miles in their first week of training, as their bodies are not in shape for that distance yet. This concept can be used for other activities like golf and pickle ball. 


Bottom Line


Injuries can be preventable with good preparation and patience! Get out there and enjoy your favorite activities but remember to complete a dynamic warm-up and be smart by planning to gradually ramp up the activity to get your body in shape!! 

Thanks for reading!

-Dr. Dan



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