10 reasons why overuse injuries are a pain
- The symptoms start slowly like a cold so it’s easy to dismiss an injury in its early stages as just another ‘ache or pain’.
- However, they could have been building up silently for a long time, maybe years. Once the symptoms have built up it is much harder to treat and you may not be able to work eventually.
- It is difficult to get a diagnosis, particularly scans
- GP’s, physiotherapists and orthopaedics tend to look at just one body part so they miss identifying risk factors and connections between apparently unconnected symptoms.
- It can be difficult to take sick leave because you may not feel ill and are not incapacitated. However, rest is essential.
- They are not well recognised outside sport. In my experience GP’s do not seem to be aware of them.
- There are no public health campaigns (e.g. stopping smoking, exercising more and eating less).
- They can cause permanent damage and affect important functions of the body, such as the use of the hands, voice and walking and cause mental health issues.
- Treatment is poor outside of sport and inconsistent advice is given about how to rest.
- They are difficult to treat and probably cost the NHS millions, if not billions, each year.
However, the good news is that they are almost always completely preventable and these preventative approaches can be used to manage an existing overuse injury.