Closeup of a person's hands holding an ice pack on another person's knee.The human body is super complex. Every single part of every joint works in perfect harmony to allow a smooth, coordinated movement. Throughout the day, we use our body multiple times – without stopping to think – very fluidly. What happens when one of the cogs in this giant machine just starts to rust or loosen? The entire machine comes to a standstill. So, today’s blog post is going to be all about that!

Overuse injuries are a result of a constant force on your soft tissues at a very low intensity. Any repetitive activity done for longer periods of time can trigger this. This is also very common when you do an activity that you haven’t built your endurance up to and you keep pushing yourself. The repetitive micro trauma irritates the tissue causing the symptoms like pain and limitation of activity.

Different types of overuse injuries include:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Shin splints
  • Runner’s knee/jumper’s knee
  • Stress fracture
  • Tendonitis/sprain/strain

Why Do They Occur?

Overuse injuries usually occur when your body isn’t ready for the amount of stress being loaded on it. This happens due to:

  1. Training error: premature return to play, use of improper technique, improper warm up/cool down, change in training surface/ shoes, improper form.
  2. Repetitive micro trauma: post injury, poor techniques, poor posture while doing the activity.

How to Prevent Overuse Injuries

The most empowering thing a patient must know is that our bodies are very strong. You are in control of your injuries. Learn to listen to your body. When the muscles are tired or fatigued, they usually present as soreness that may begin immediately or up to 24 hours. Pushing yourself past those signs will continue to stress the tissue which will eventually break.

A few things that can help include:

  • Taking frequent breaks to avoid uninterrupted activity.
  • Developing proper strength and endurance post injury before returning to play/work.
  • Proper training techniques including well supported shoes, proper form, proper warm up and cool down.
  • Gradual increase in the amount of load being put on the joint.
  • Proper posture while doing the activity.

Overuse injury is your body’s way of telling you to scale back temporarily. If you think you may have an injury, book an appointment with your physiotherapist and get it checked. She will then prepare a detailed return to work/play plan for you to ensure that you are able to get back to doing what you love!


Footprint Health and Wellness Centre is a multi-disciplinary clinic located in South Barrie, offering chiropody, physiotherapy, and massage therapy services. Book your appointment now!

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Jasleen Grewal

About Jasleen Grewal

Jasleen Grewal is a trained Physiotherapist with 4 years of experience. She completed her Bachelor's in Physical Therapy in India and went on to take up her Master's (Neurological) in the same, from England. She has since been treating patients with a variety of orthopaedic and neurological conditions. She also holds multiple certifications in manual therapy from India.