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Don’t Let Pain Hold You Back; 5 Common Overuse Injuries

As the weather begins to warm up, many of us come out of our winter hibernation and begin enjoying the outdoors whether it be getting back on the tennis court, playing a round of golf, fishing a favorite spot, or spending our time outside running. Our motivation varies from trying to get back into shape to just being tired of being cooped up indoors. Whatever the reason, many of us dramatically increase our activity level, which often leads to injuries and overuse injuries. That is where we come into play.

At Freedom Health Systems, we can take care of and manage all your aches and pains. From overuse injuries to broken bones to run-of-the-mill arthritis, we can help you get back on your feet doing the things you love.

1. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints)

Shin splints are a common overuse injury as the weather warms up and people resume outdoor activities. This is often caused by increasing activity levels or changing your activity routine. Other causes of shin splints include running on hard surfaces or poor footwear such as shoes that are worn out or do not fit properly. Shin splints damage the muscles, tendons, and bones of the lower legs and tend to get worse with exercise. Many times, shin splints will improve with rest but, some will have pain even at rest.

2. Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Although termed “Tennis Elbow”, a person does not have to be a tennis player to suffer from this condition. Tennis elbow is the most common cause of elbow pain in adults. The pain is on the outside of the elbow and is frequently caused by overuse activities. Common causes of tennis elbow include lifting weights, laborers who use heavy tools, and activities that engage excessive gripping or lifting. This condition is a common culprit for elbow pain and tennis players and golfers alike.

3. Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

Patellar tendonitis or “jumper’s knee” is a common source of pain in the front of the knee. The patellar tendon attaches the kneecap to the shinbone and can become inflamed or irritated leading to the development of patellar tendonitis. This is commonly seen in individuals who suddenly increase the intensity or volume of an exercise routine. Volleyball is one of the most common sports where this condition is prevalent.

4. Hamstring Strain

The hamstring is a set of four muscles running along the backside of the thigh. Injuries to this muscle group frequently occur with running, jumping, or kicking mechanisms. People often describe a sudden “pop” in the back of the thigh followed by intense pain. Many times, this is due to inadequate warm-up, imbalance in muscular strength in the legs, or poor flexibility. This type of injury can prevent people from participating in outdoor activities including sports for an extended period of time.

5. Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is a common source of shoulder pain. It is often caused by pinching of the rotator cuff between the surrounding bony structures leading to Bursitis in the shoulder. This is common in overhead-throwing athletes or people who do a lot of lifting away from their bodies. Many times, the pain will be located deep within the shoulder or sometimes down the outside of the shoulder. There are a wide variety of treatment options including topical medications, physical therapy, cupping, acupuncture, massage, oral medications, and even certain medications which can be injected into the shoulder.

The mainstay treatment of these and other overuse conditions is prevention. Preventing overuse injury is best achieved by first ensuring proper footwear, correctly fitting equipment, and increasing activity level in a slow and steady manner. There is a common misconception that one must exercise in order to enjoy outdoor activities. The reality is most people must train their bodies in order to be able to safely exercise or enjoy an outdoor activity without injury. However, even with the best plan and proper training, injuries can still occur. If you or anyone you know suffers from these or other aches and pains, call us at Freedom Health Systems today to see what we can do to help.

About the Author: Doctor Michael Bauer, MD is a board-certified Sports Medicine Physician with nearly 10 years of sports and musculoskeletal experience. Doctor Bauer has extensive experience with both X-ray and ultrasound to help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions. He is a co-founder of Freedom Health Systems and together, will develop a customized treatment plan working alongside you to get you back to the activity you love. Not an athlete? No problem! Dr. Bauer sees and treats a wide variety of people and conditions from all aspects of life. At Freedom Health Systems, we are here to help. Skip the lines and the waiting! Call us today at 417-708-7010 to schedule your appointment.

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