Healing ‘Overuse Injury Syndrome’ and chronic overuse injuries

1. Stop your chronic injury from getting worse and avoid further injuries.

A chronic overuse injury is an injury caused by overuse which has not healed, even if you have reduced your activity levels. If you have ‘overuse injury syndrome’ (discussed on the Overuse Injury page) then you essentially have a collection of chronic overuse injuries. With an overuse injury there is a window of opportunity immediately following the onset of the injury when rest is most effective.  If you miss this window then you are more susceptible to a downward spiral of re-injury. However, you can seek to reduce the likelihood of this by following the basic principles of injury avoidance and management to avoid getting further injuries. You need to follow these principles both for the part of your body that has the chronic overuse injury and also to protect other parts of your body. This is because as well as a further injury being harmful in itself it can have an impact on the chronic overuse injury that you already have and cause even more injuries. The body works as a functional unit and increased stress in one part of the body can easily migrate to other parts and cause damage.

2. Give it time, the great healer

The other point to bear in mind is that in the same way that overuse injuries do not happen overnight, and may sometimes take many years to appear, healing can also be a long term process that needs to be measured in years. This means that the changes that you are making to your exercise routines or  technique or other interventions that you are applying may take years to bear fruit. So don’t think that because something isn’t working now that it will not help in the long term.

3. Rehab and Alternative therapies

You may need to try ongoing rehabilitation. It may also be worth exploring alternative treatments such as acupuncture, tai chi and yoga. I touch on these topics here. 

4. Surgery

Surgery is sometimes beneficial but carries its own risks. An injury often affects multiple tissues, so even if one part of the injury is addressed through an operation it does not mean that all of the damage caused by the injury will be resolved.