Fitness basics (23)
- Tool: Target heart rate calculator
- Fitness training: Elements of a well-rounded routine
- Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity
- see all in Fitness basics
Stretching and flexibility (3)
- Stretching: Focus on flexibility
- How fit are you? See how you measure up
- Hamstring injury
Aerobic exercise (13)
- Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health
- Rev up your workout with interval training
- Walking: How to start a walking group
- see all in Aerobic exercise
Strength training (9)
- Fitness ball exercises: How-to video collection
- Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier
- Functional fitness training: Is it right for you?
- see all in Strength training
Sports nutrition (3)
- Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts
- Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks
- Water: How much should you drink every day?
Overuse injury: How to prevent training injuries
Overuse injury can happen when you try to take on too much physical activity too quickly. Understand how to pace yourself while getting fit.By Mayo Clinic staff
Thinking of starting a new physical activity program or ramping up your current training routine? If so, you may be at risk of an overuse injury — which could ultimately prevent you from being active. Find out what can cause an overuse injury and how to safely increase your activity level.
Common causes of overuse injury
An overuse injury is any type of muscle or joint injury, such as tendinitis or a stress fracture, that's caused by repetitive trauma. An overuse injury typically stems from:
- Training errors. Training errors can occur when you enthusiastically take on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.
- Technique errors. Improper technique can also take its toll on your body. If you use poor form as you do a set of strength training exercises, swing a golf club or throw a baseball, for example, you may overload certain muscles and cause an overuse injury.
Risk factors for overuse injury
Although an overuse injury can happen to anyone, you may be more prone to this type of injury if you have certain medical conditions. Overuse injuries are also more likely to occur as you get older — especially if you don't recognize the impact aging can have on your body and modify your routine accordingly.
For these reasons, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new activity or ramping up your current routine. Your doctor may offer tips to help make physical activity safer for you. If you have a muscle weakness in your hip, for example, your doctor may show you exercises to address the problem and prevent knee pain.Next page
(1 of 2)
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 11, 2012.
- Sports injury prevention for baby boomers. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00178. Accessed Dec. 11, 2012.
- Sports injuries. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sports_Injuries/sports_injuries_ff.asp. Accessed Dec. 11, 2012.
- Meisler JG. Toward optimal health: The experts discuss fitness among baby boomers. Journal of Women's Health. 2003;12:219.
- Baby boomers' bodies impacted by years of wear and tear. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/acsm-in-the-news/2011/08/01/baby-boomers-bodies-impacted-by-years-of-wear-and-tear. Accessed Dec. 11, 2012.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/PAGUIDELINES/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed Dec. 11, 2012.
- Bahr R. No injuries, but plenty of pain? On the methodology for recording overuse symptoms in sports. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2009;43:966.
- Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2005:212.