Exercise is medicine. More and more people are starting to exercise regularly as a way to improve their health and quality of life. There are numerous studies showing that exercising at the correct intensity and duration decreases the incidence of chronic diseases and obesity.
Research shows that one of the leading reasons why people to stop their exercise program is overuse injury.
Overuse injuries are the result of repetitive micro-trauma to your tendons, bones, or joints. Symptoms of an overuse injury are often subtle and occur over time. Common examples are tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), runner’s knee (patellofemoral syndrome), and shin splints.
Training errors are the most common cause of overuse injuries. This is often the result of too rapid acceleration of the intensity, duration, or frequency of your activity.
Training to Avoid Overuse Injury
Most overuse injuries can be prevented with common sense and proper training. The “no pain, no gain” philosophy is not recommended. Learn to listen to your body and use pain as a guide to tell you when to slow down or stop.
The “10 percent rule” is often helpful in guiding your exercise program. You should not increase your training program or activity more than 10 percent per week. This will allow your body adequate time for recovery. The 10 percent rule also applies to adding weight in a strength training program, and increasing your mileage or pace if you are a walker or runner.
When beginning an exercise program or sport, seek the advice of a sports medicine physician to help you prevent chronic or recurrent injuries. If you do get injured, talk to your physician about maintaining your overall fitness while you recover from your injury.
About Dr. Michael Simpson
Michael R. Simpson, DO, specializes in family medicine and primary care sports medicine. Dr. Simpson is board certified in family medicine and sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine. Prior to medical school, Dr. Simpson earned a master’s degree in exercise science from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.