An overuse injury happens gradually from a repetitive activity. These injuries are usually related to sports or other activities. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is another name for this kind of injury. Overuse injuries affect the tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, and other joint structures.
Common overuse injuries include:
- Strains and sprains of muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues
- Tendonitis and other tendon problems, including tears
- Bursitis, inflammation of a bursa that cushions a joint
- Growth plate problems in children, which can impair bone growth in some cases
- Stress fractures, minor cracks in the bone
The trusted sports medicine doctors at Dignity Health are proud to provide personalized care for your sports injuries, including overuse injuries or RSI in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. Find a Doctor near you today or call (916) 851-2511 for a physician referral. You can also attend one of our regularly schedule orthopedic consumer seminars to learn more about our personalized treatment and expertise.
Diagnosing an Overuse Injury or RSI
Signs and symptoms of an overuse injury include pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. Symptoms usually worsen with specific activities and improve with rest. You may also notice creaking, grinding, clicking, or popping when you move the affected body part. In children, overuse injuries can potentially affect growth plates and interfere with bone shape and length.
Overuse injuries result from continually using a set of muscles (and, therefore, your tendons, ligaments, and bones) without allowing enough rest time to heal and recover.
Certain risk factors make you more likely to develop an overuse injury. Children have a higher risk of overuse injuries because their bodies are still growing. Older adults also are more prone to overuse injuries. With age, tissues, like tendons, typically weaken. This makes them more susceptible to irritation from overuse.
Other risk factors for RSI include poor training, conditioning, and form before and during activities. This could be at work, while playing sports, or performing a favorite hobby.
Treating & Preventing Overuse Injuries & RSI in the Sacramento Region
At Dignity Health, we know that treatment and prevention of overuse injuries starts with resting from the repetitive activity before trying other more invasive treatments.
Anti-inflammatory medicines, corticosteroid injections, splinting, and physical therapy also can help heal the injury. Our experienced physical therapists can teach you the correct body mechanics to protect the area in the future. Sometimes, surgery is necessary to repair the injury.
Fortunately, many overuse injuries can be prevented with these types of strategies:
- Staying hydrated
- Taking the time to adequately warm up before activities and cool down afterwards, even if you’re just doing something around the house
- Balancing strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility
- Using the right equipment with the proper fit
- Cross-training with a variety of activities
- Scheduling periods of rest and time off from physical activity to allow for healing and recovery
The professionals at Dignity Health treat overuse injuries in the Sacramento, CA region, as a part of our sports medicine services.