Repeating movement or motion over a long period of time
“Overuse syndrome” is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that cause persistent pain and damage in muscles, joints, tendons, nerves, and soft tissue. In sports, athletes may develop overuse syndromes from trying to do too much too soon.
Overuse syndrome occurs when you use a body part to work harder, stretch farther, or function at a higher level than it is normally capable of handling. The impact and strain may be minimal per instance, but the cumulative effect of the constant straining eventually causes damage. That’s because the activity is often focused on a joint and affects the muscle, bone, tendon, or bursa of that joint.
Growth spurts, body structure, improper equipment, poor mechanics, nutrition, and hormonal factors can also cause excessive stress in the body, which leads to overuse syndrome. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to significant pain and even disability.
At OrthoUnited, our orthopaedic doctors are experienced in diagnosing and treating overuse syndromes including:
- Shin splints
- Patellofemoral syndrome (damaged cartilage under the kneecap)
- Pitcher’s elbow
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes)
- Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome (connective tissue rubbing against the thighbone)
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