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Overuse Injuries

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is well underway, and with all of the hustle and bustle around game time, we’ve been discussing the dangers of exerting oneself too much. Some of the most common athletic injuries are due to overuse. If you are an athlete or the parent of someone who is, recognizing the signs of some of the most common overuse injuries and catching them before they progress could keep you or your child healthy.

1. Achilles Tendinitis
Your Achilles Tendon is the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel at the back of your lower leg. It is characterized by a mild ache in the back of the lower leg, tenderness, or stiffness that can turn into more severe pain if left untreated. Strengthening your calf muscles and building up your level of activity are great ways to prevent this overuse injury from happening.

2. Stress Fractures
Stress fractures occur most often in athletes who run or jump on hard surfaces. Unlike other types of fractures, these occur over a long period of time after repeated low-impact forces. Persistent pain while exercising is the most common warning sign, and if the pain persists, an evaluation and x-ray should be done.

3. Shin Splints
If you feel pain in the front lower part of your leg, you could have shin splints. The pain is due to inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your shin. Decreasing your activity is the best way to heal from shin splints, but if the pain continues after a few weeks even without exercising, go see a doctor to ensure it’s not something more serious.

4. Calf Muscle Strains
One of the most common overuse injuries is a strained calf muscle. While a mild strain may resolve in a few days with rest and stretching, go see a doctor if the pain does not subside or becomes worse.

If you think you or your child may have any of the above overuse injuries, the specialists at Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine are here to get you back on your feet playing the sport you love!