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Effects of Entering the Season De-Conditioned

Injury Prevention for Athletes Workshop

The two most common reasons people sustain injuries when they rush back into a sport or exercise program too quickly, are training errors and technique errors.  Rushing into the season or training program without proper progressive training our body will not be ready to endure the stress and we can end up with an injury that could have been prevented. 

Are you ready to try-out for that spring sport or ramp-up your training routine? You may think so, however, it is important to go into the season or any exercise program with the right knowledge to prevent injuries. 

Your body is conditioned to respond to the stresses put on it, but if stressed too much too quickly the tissues will breakdown and not have the proper time to recover efficiently. Additionally, technique is a critical component to sports and exercise. If you have poor technique with sport specific movements or with resistance training it will stress the joints, muscles and tendons beyond what they are capable of enduring. This stress on the joints will result in injury to the surrounding structures such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. 

Common Injuries

The most common injuries from rushing into exercise/sport too quickly include

  • Muscle strains, tendonitis, stress fractures, sprains of joints and even ligament tears.
  • Muscles strains are tears in the muscle from overuse or extreme changes in time/speed of exercises. 
  • Tendonitis
  • Tendonitis is a result of small micro tears in the tendon resulting in inflammation in the tissue. 
  • Some of the most common forms of tendonitis include 
  • Lateral Elbow Tendonitis (Tennis Elbow) – Pain in the outer side of the elbow. In some cases, the painful area extends down to the forearm and wrist
  • Medial Elbow Tendonitis (Golfer’s Elbow)- Pain in the inner side of the elbow
  • Patella Tendonitis (Jumpers/Runners Knee)- Pain below the kneecap and, sometimes, above it
  • Achilles Tendonitis – Pain at the back of the heel or 2 to 4 inches above the heel
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (Swimmers Shoulder)- Usually dull, aching shoulder pain that can’t be tied to one location. It often radiates into the upper arm toward the chest. The pain is often worse at night and may interfere with sleep.
  • Stress Fractures
  • Sprains and Ligament Tears
    • Sprains of the joint occur when the joint is stressed beyond the normal range of motion and can result in ligament tears or even ruptures. 

Avoid Injury 

    • Use proper form and gear- seek professional help if needed to get started. You can always learn something new. 
    • Pace yourself- start slow and gradually increase your activity level. You should start with 3-5 exercises and interval cardio for 10 minutes and gradually increase the amount of exercise and the time of cardio per week depending on your soreness and recovery. 
    • Cross Train- include a variety of exercises and weight bearing activities so you are not stressing the same structures repetitively. 

By Shannon O’Donnell, MS, ATC

If you are having any kind of pain or difficulty moving, are getting ready to enter a sports season, or if you want to just start an exercise program, we are here to help you get the results you desire and do it without risk of injury. Call TODAY at 703-450-4300 to schedule your evaluation.

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