School Sports: Overuse Injuries

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the start of the fall school sports season. Although student-athletes may work hard to get better at their games, overdoing it can lead to injuries.

Injuries can happen over time as an athlete goes through a training regimen. Injuries come from improper form, pushing too hard to come back from an injury, an imbalance between strength and flexibility, poor body alignment or improperly fitting equipment. Symptoms of overuse include stiffness or pain, favoring one arm or leg and reduced performance. Pain may at first come only with activity, but over time it may become constant.

Dr. Robert Dimeff, a sports medicine specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s important to give your body time to adjust as you begin or intensify a training regimen. A good rule of thumb is not to increase your intensity, distance or duration by more than 10 percent a week. A sports medicine specialist can help you identify potential problems before you start training.

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August 2011

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