Signs of overdoing it are often quite obvious. That third scoop of ice cream seemed like a good idea at the time, and that extra hour at the beach was fun while it lasted. Well, if you’re now using the ice cream you couldn’t finish to cool your bad sunburn, that’s certainly a sign you overdid it on both accounts! If you are struggling with foot pain, that can be a sign of overdoing it as well.
Overuse injuries are common, especially in runners who log a lot of miles and put in a lot of training time. Repetitive stress can take its toll on muscles, tendons, and bones resulting in injuries like Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis (heel pain). Don’t just keep running! Pay attention to the signs of overuse (pain and swelling, for example) and as soon as you notice symptoms, stop what you’re doing and break out the RICE! (That stands for “rest, ice, compression, and elevation.”)
Rest: Taking a break from the activity that is causing pain is essential. Keep in mind that a little rest now is better than a lot of time off later! Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to totally stop working out. Switching your routine to low-impact options like lifting weights, yoga, swimming, or rowing will help you stay fit while you heal.
Ice: Applying ice to your injury will help to reduce swelling and pain.
Compression: Wrap or tape your injury snugly to minimize inflammation and provide support.
Elevation: Propping your injured foot up on pillows so that it is raised above heart level will decrease swelling as well.
Stretching exercises can also help. Many times, you are at a higher risk for overuse injuries if you struggle with poor biomechanics or a faulty foot structure. Orthotics can correct these problems, thus reducing your chances of getting hurt. When you start feeling better, be sure to gradually return to your fitness routine to avoid re-injury. If you’re tempted to ignore signs of overuse, just think about that ice cream and sunburn -- you can indeed have too much of a good thing!
If you need help overcoming an overuse injury, just give us a call at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if calling from Lake County).
Train smart and stay healthy, friends!