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Common Athletic Injuries

By: Danielle Spagnolo, PT, DPT, OCS

We are going to discuss and review chronic/overuse injuries that occur in athletes and have a direct impact on sports training and performance.

Chronic or overuse injuries develop over a period of time.  A common consequence of high level training is repetitive micro-trauma to the involved tissues.  Provided the bone or soft tissue gets adequate rest and nutrition, no real injury occurs.  However, if the recovery period is inadequate or deficient in any way, these micro-traumas can develop into a much more involved injury.  This injury takes a longer time period to heal and can subject the athlete to the detrimental side effects of inactivity.

There are numerous factors that can lead to the development of chronic and overuse injuries in the foot and ankle.  More often than not, there are multiple factors at play.  These factors include the following:

  • Inadequate rest
  • Poor/improper footwear
  • Training errors (progressing too quickly, lack of variety in exercise routine)
  • Technique errors (poor form with exercise).

Common injuries include shin splints, plantar fasciitis, posterior tibialis tendonitis, and peroneal tendonitis.  With these injuries comes localized pain, swelling, limited strength, and limited tolerance to weight bearing activities including standing, walking, and climbing stairs.

   Plantar Fasciitis                                            Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis

Ankle Series 3_1Ankle Series 3_2

        Peroneal Tendonitis                                                      Shin Splints

Ankle Series 3_4          Ankle Series 3_3

In order to prevent a chronic/overuse injury, be sure to follow these guidelines.

  • First, always equip yourself with the proper gear, including footwear, to protect your body and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Second, maintain proper form while participating in resistance training.
  • Third, pace yourself during exercise progression. Gradually progress weights and activity level over a period of time.
  • Lastly, build variety into your fitness program.

Consult with a physical therapist today to review your current exercise program to reduce your risk for injury.  We hope you enjoyed this blog series and hope you will visit us again soon!  Keep exercising and stay safe!

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