How does overuse injuries occur?
Too much work in a short period will leads to tension. If you are trying to improve your fitness in a short time, it will result in overuse injuries. The human body normally will be able to adapt to most of the physical stresses. In fact, improvement in performance is due to this phenomenon where the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments become stronger through exercises and activity. This is termed as the remodeling process of the body where there is the breakdown and the build up of tissues. If the the build up occurs efficiently than the breakdown then the enhancement of physical level occurs but if the break down occurs more rapidly than the build up, injury occurs.
What causes overuse injuries?
Methods of training is important and training errors are the most common cause of overuse injuries. In training, sudden increase or rapid increase in workload or intensity (speed, distance, repetition) of the activity will result in injury. Over-training or over-loading without proper rest. Too many matches in a day or a week will create fatigue in the muscles and thus result in the micro trauma of the tissues. Overuse injury also happen in people who return after injury and try to do to much in a short span of time. Other factors resulting in overuse injuries may be training surface, shoes, equipments or individual biological factors.
Ways to avoid overuse injuries.
Gradual running in or build up into physical activities is very important. Have consistent training schedule, gradual acceleration in intensity or work outs, wear proper shoes for suitable surface or activities and "listen to your body" do not over-work your body.
Treatment depends on individual and also the injury. Reducing the intensity (work load), duration or frequency of the activities may reduce the pressure or brings relief to the affected part. Adopt a hard/easy schedule (alternating hard workout with easier ones) to maintain overall fitness while the injured part recovering. Work with a trainer. Special attention to proper warm up before the activity and using ice after activity may relief the affected part. Aspirin to be taken only on doctor's advice.
You can prevent overuse injuries with proper training method and schedule. Use your common sense too. Listen to your body. "No pain, no gain" does not apply here. Gradual increase in intensity. Have enough time for your training schedule (do not do too much in too little a time). Take a break when you body gives you message that you need a rest.
Adopted from "Get back in the Game" http://www.elite-sports-med.com/overuse.htm