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Over-training injuries

Over-training injuries are those sustained as a result of training too hard and too long, so that muscles are not given sufficient time to recover. Instead of gaining strength, the muscles' performance levels weaken and injury may result. It is normal to feel sore after your workout, but in order to be at your peak performance, you must recognise the line between training and over-training.

Some common over-training injuries are:

Achilles tendinitis

This is a condition often seen in runners. It may be chronic or acute and manifests itself in gradual onset of pain at the beginning of exercise, fading away as the exercise progresses. This goes on for a number of days. In chronic tendinitis, the pain may last several weeks, or even months, and does not go away with exercise. Swelling and tenderness over the tendon area as well as a creaking when you press the spot or move the ankle may also be present. Treatment for Achilles tendinitis involves rest and cold therapy. Wearing a heel pad to raise the heel and take some of the strain off the tendon can be helpful. A physiotherapist can assist with rehabilitation.

Shin splints

This condition occurs at the front inside of the shin bone and results in pain at the start of exercise, fading away as the session progresses and returning when the activity ceases. Pain is usually felt when the toes or foot are bent downwards. There may also be lumps or bumps felt over the area. Treatment involves rest to allow the injury to heal. Icing and anti-inflammatory medications may also helpful. A physiotherapist may perform a gait analysis to determine if you over-pronate (sole of the foot turns outward) or over-supinate (sole turns inward). Both of these conditions cause problems for runners as the foot does not absorb shock during running. Orthotic devices are recommended in these cases.

Muscles need time to recover after a strenuous workout. Recovery time varies depending on the intensity of the workout. If muscles remain sore for three days following training, take a break. During this time you may do some cross-training, using muscles that are not sore, or you may do some stretching or have a massage. If you are unsure how to train without pushing yourself too far, get in touch with us.


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