Can overuse injuries cause chronic pain?

Chronic pain is often due to repetitive trauma and overuse. It is important to note that overuse injuries are common among those who engage in sports and activities that involve repetitive movements. The stress and trauma to the soft tissues might end up irritated if not given enough time to fully heal. The injuries are also known as cumulative trauma or repetitive stress injuries.

Most cases of injuries are categorized as acute or chronic. Acute pain is typically the result of specific impact or traumatic events. When it comes to chronic pain, there are ambiguous symptoms that develop steadily and relatively long-lasting. An initial irritating pain can progress into an incapacitating injury if not recognized and managed early.

Causes of overuse injuries

Chronic pain

When it comes to chronic pain, there are ambiguous symptoms that develop steadily and relatively long-lasting.

The main factors why chronic pain from overuse injuries occur include the following:

  • Engaging in too much activity too soon. It is vital to start gradually and increase the intensity of training over time. This can avoid the chronic pain from overuse injuries.
  • Overtraining syndrome is common in advanced athletes who abruptly increase the time or intensity of their activities.
  • Resuming activity after an injury early. Some individuals resume activity too rapidly which leads to the development of secondary overuse while attempting to make up for lost time.
  • Poor technique during sports can result to overuse injuries that cause chronic pain. Working with an instructor can provide suitable exercises the fits the needs of the individual.
  • Performing only one type of exercise. Engaging in the same exercise day after another can lead to overuse injuries. The same muscle groups that are stressed out and performing the same movements can place significant strain on the tendons, muscles and ligaments. This leads to irritation, inflammation and even stress fractures.

How to manage chronic pain from overuse injuries

The treatment for overuse injuries oftentimes requires resting the stressed out tissues. Minimizing the intensity, frequency or duration of the exercise is required for rapid relief.

The application of an ice pack can reduce the pain and inflammation. As for serious overuse injuries, over-the-counter medications, physical therapy and complete rest might be needed.

Prevention

The return of overuse injuries can be prevented by maintaining a suitable training schedule that includes exercises in varying duration and intensity as well as the form of activity. Performing correct warming-up exercises and cross-training are also beneficial.

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