Overuse injuries are a common type of injury that can occur when you overuse a muscle, tendon, or joint. They can be caused by repetitive movements, such as running, typing, or playing sports. Overuse injuries can be painful and debilitating, but they are often treatable with physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy can help to treat overuse injuries by:
- Reducing pain and inflammation
- Promoting healing
- Strengthening muscles and tendons
- Improving flexibility and range of motion
- Teaching you how to move and exercise safely
- Helping you to return to your daily activities and sports
Physiotherapists can also help you to identify and address the underlying causes of your overuse injury, such as poor posture, muscle imbalances, or improper training techniques. This can help to prevent your injury from recurring in the future.
How physiotherapy works for overuse injuries
Physiotherapy for overuse injuries typically involves a combination of different treatments, such as:
- Manual therapy: Manual therapy techniques, such as massage and joint mobilization, can help to reduce pain and inflammation, improve range of motion, and promote healing.
- Exercise therapy: Exercise therapy is an important part of treating overuse injuries. Exercises can help to strengthen muscles and tendons, improve flexibility, and retrain your body to move correctly.
- Education: Physiotherapists can also teach you about your injury and how to prevent it from recurring. They can also give you advice on how to modify your activities to avoid aggravating your injury.
Research on the effectiveness of physiotherapy for overuse injuries
There is a growing body of research that supports the effectiveness of physiotherapy for overuse injuries. For example, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that physiotherapy was more effective than rest alone in reducing pain and improving function in people with Achilles tendinitis.
Another study, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy in 2016, found that physiotherapy was effective in reducing pain and improving function in people with rotator cuff tendinitis.
When to see a physiotherapist for an overuse injury
If you have an overuse injury, it is important to see a physiotherapist as soon as possible. Early treatment can help to reduce the severity of your injury and speed up your recovery.
You should also see a physiotherapist if:
- Your pain is severe or does not improve with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers
- You have difficulty performing your daily activities or sports
- You have any swelling or redness in the injured area
- You have any numbness or tingling in the injured area
- Your injury recurs after you have tried to treat it yourself
Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for overuse injuries. It can help to reduce pain and inflammation, promote healing, and strengthen muscles and tendons. Physiotherapists can also teach you how to move and exercise safely, and help you to return to your daily activities and sports.
If you have an overuse injury, it is important to see a physiotherapist as soon as possible for early treatment.