If you have ‘overuse injury syndrome’ (discussed on the Overuse Injury page) then you essentially have a collection of chronic overuse injuries (a chronic overuse injury is an injury caused by overuse but which has not healed even when you have reduced your activity levels). 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. You need to follow these principles both for the part that has the chronic overuse injury and also for other parts of your body and activities because as well as these injuries being harmful in themselves they can have an impact on the chronic overuse injury that you already have because 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.
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.
You may need to try ongoing rehabilitation.
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.
It may be worth exploring alternative treatments such as acupuncture, tai chi and yoga.
I touch on these topics here.