Repetition is an integral part of honing your athletic skills and staying in shape, but it can also lead to overuse injuries that can sideline you—whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior. At Longevità Medical in Victor, Dr. Maria Karipidis Pouria offers Greater Rochester residents a range of treatment options to manage joint pain and other symptoms associated with overuse injuries.
What Are Overuse Injuries?
If you experience pain in isolated areas and haven’t suffered a specific traumatic injury such as an ankle or knee sprain, you may have an overuse injury. Often called overtraining or overstress injuries, overuse injuries occur when repetitive stress damages bones, growth plates, muscles, tendons, or ligaments over a period of time. Without the rest that would give the injured area enough time to heal, the injuries can worsen until you seek treatment.
Most overuse injuries involve the elbow, knee, shoulder, foot, and ankle. Some common types of overuse injuries include:
- Runner’s knee: If you’re experiencing significant pain between the kneecap and the thigh bone (femur), runner’s knee can often be the culprit and diagnosis.
- Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendons, which connect muscle to bone, can occur in virtually any joint used repeatedly. Achilles tendonitis is common.
- IT band: Known clinically as “iliotibial band syndrome,” IT band injuries are often diagnosed in runners, cyclists, and weightlifters and present as pain on the outside of the knee or along the outside of the hip.
- Shin splints: This condition can be associated with tendonitis and stress fractures. It is commonly diagnosed in runners who wear shoes with inadequate padding, use improper running techniques, or have muscle imbalances.
- Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes is a common source of heel pain. It can affect anyone from casual runners to professional athletes.
Other common overuse injuries include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and swimmer’s shoulder (or thrower’s shoulder). These often are diagnosed as “medial epicondylitis,” “lateral epicondylitis,” or “multi-directional instability,” respectively, or tendonitis or bursitis.
Even though many overuse injuries are associated with sports, they are also a concern for everyday activities, such as sewing or knitting, playing a musical instrument, or using the computer.
Overuse Injury Symptoms
One of the difficult issues with overuse injuries is that people often “play through the pain” and don’t recognize the signs of these types of injuries. Recognizing the early symptoms of an overuse injury can limit the time it takes to recover and resume the sport or activity that caused the initial injury.
Symptoms of overuse injuries include:
- Tingling, numbness, or pain in an isolated area
- Joint stiffness
- Weakness in the hands, arms, or legs
- A popping or clicking sensation in the affected joint
When these symptoms emerge gradually and continue to become more pronounced, an overuse injury is often the cause.
Overuse Injury Treatments
When properly diagnosed, treatment for overuse injuries is very effective. Even before seeing a doctor, rest and icing the affected area can help alleviate the symptoms associated with overuse injuries. At Longevità Medical in Victor, NY, Dr. Karipidis Pouria customizes treatment plans for the symptoms and goals of the patient. Her conservative approach to treatment may include joint aspiration (drainage), corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, [link pid="629"]platelet-rich plasma (PRP), or bone marrow concentrate injections[/link], along with physical therapy and various other treatments.
Overuse Injury FAQs
How can I prevent overuse injuries from recurring?
Not preparing adequately for an activity or sport often leads to overuse injuries. Stretching and other warm-up exercises can help prevent future injuries, along with using proper techniques and listening to your body. Taking a break and cross-training are often the best prevention.
What are some risk factors for developing an overuse injury?
For younger athletes, specializing in a single sport is one of the most common causes of overuse injuries. Men and women of any age who focus on a single activity or exercise are at greater risk of suffering an overuse injury, especially runners.
Request Your Consultation
Overuse injuries left untreated can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain. To discuss your treatment options with Dr. Karipidis Pouria at our Victor location outside Rochester, request a consultation using the online form or call us at
(585) 244-1506 to schedule an appointment.