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7 Tips to Avoid Overuse Injuries

Jun 3, 2024 | Fitness & Wellness

As the weather warms up in Western New York, many of us are eager to get outside and engage in our favorite activities.

Whether it’s gardening, golfing, hiking, or taking your grandkids to the park, the increase in physical activity after a relatively sedentary winter can sometimes lead to overuse injuries. These injuries occur when repetitive stress is placed on muscles, tendons, and bones without adequate rest and recovery.

Watch the video below to learn ways to help you avoid overuse injuries and enjoy a healthy, active spring and summer.

How to Avoid Overuse Injuries

Ease Into Activity Gradually

After a winter of reduced activity, it’s important to gradually increase your exercise intensity and duration. Start with shorter sessions and lower intensity, then slowly build up over several weeks. This gives your body time to adapt to the increased demands and reduces the risk of injury.

Warm Up Properly

Warming up prepares your body for physical activity by increasing blood flow to your muscles and enhancing flexibility. A good warm-up should include dynamic stretches and light aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, for at least 5-10 minutes.

Incorporate Variety

Engaging in a variety of activities can help prevent overuse injuries by reducing repetitive stress on the same muscles and joints. Try mixing different types of exercises, such as swimming, cycling, and strength training, to work different muscle groups and improve overall fitness.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain. It’s normal to feel some soreness when starting a new activity, but persistent pain can be a sign of an overuse injury. If you experience pain, take a break and allow your body to recover. Consult a physical therapist if the pain persists.

Include Rest Days

Rest days are essential for allowing your body to recover and repair. Incorporate at least one or two rest days into your weekly routine to prevent overtraining and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

Strengthen and Stretch

Strength training and stretching are important components of a well-rounded fitness program. Strengthening exercises help build muscle endurance and support your joints while stretching improves flexibility and range of motion. Both can help prevent overuse injuries.

Get Professional Guidance

If you’re unsure about how to start a new activity or want to optimize your performance, consider consulting a Physical or Occupational Therapist. They can provide personalized advice, create a tailored exercise program, and help you address any existing issues to prevent future injuries. If your schedule is already packed with activities, remember Virtual Physical Therapy is a convenient option you can do from anywhere!

Spring is a great time to get active and enjoy the outdoors. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of overuse injuries and make the most of both the spring and summer seasons!

Want to feel and move your best this spring and summer?

If you’re struggling with pain or injury or would like a more personalized plan to work up to doing your favorite activities pain-free, our Physical and Occupational Therapists can help.

Treatment is covered by insurance, no referral is needed to start, and with flexible virtual and in-clinic appointments available, you can find a time that works with your schedule.

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