Signs and Symptoms
The tip-off to an overuse injury is pain that gets worse with activity. Often, it follows this progression:
1. At first, there is dull pain or discomfort and general fatigue (the normal effects of exertion).
2. Pain becomes sharper and more localized (it’s felt mostly in one place, such as the knee, hip, or arm).
3. Pain lingers from one day to the next, and is often accompanied by swelling.
4. Pain or swelling becomes severe enough to interfere with the activity that caused it.
5. Pain or swelling interferes with the normal activities of daily living, such as walking or standing.
What to do now
1. Stop or decrease the activity.
2. Take rest.
3. Put Ice on the affected area for 15 minutes 3 times a day.
4. Use an elastic bandage to apply gentle but firm pressure until the swelling goes down.
5. When pain or swelling has eased, resume your normal activities gradually.
When to call a doctor
1. If a week of home care doesn’t help.
2. Pain interferes with your daily activities.
How to prevent it
1. If you pursue a strenuous job or sport such as running, tennis, or swimming, allow at least 48 hours between hard workouts.
2. Don’t increase the duration or intensity of a sports activity too much at one time. For example, if you walk or run ten miles a week, increase your distance no more than about one mile each week.
3. Adjust your activities if you know you have a physical problem.
4. Get the right shoes and clothing that fits well with your body.
5. Warm up before exercise.
6. Make sure your work site is comfortable.