June is Men’s Health Month so we at Healthy State are focusing on all things health for the guys.
One aspect we’re focusing on is the perennial topic of exercise and its evil twin, the overuse injury.
Over-training, of course, applies equally to both male and female athletes, but for the purposes of Men’s Health Month, we are focusing on the guys.
We spoke to expert Dr. Nicholas Avgerinos, a family medicine practitioner who has a special interest in sports and athletic training, who said over-training usually belongs to two groups — the new athlete and the expert.
“Over-training injuries are complicated because there’s no black or white line of what’s over-training versus an acute injury,” said Dr. Avgerinos. “There are some guidelines but there is a lot of gray area.”
The gray area Dr. Avgerinos is talking about is the wide swath of injury you might start to feel.
Over-training injuries often show up — maybe in the middle of the night, or after a workout. They don’t normally accompany slips, falls or twists.
Dr. Avgerinos sees patients from those who plan to play at the collegiate level down to the active gardener and neighborhood walker.
A common overuse injury is shin splints, the pesky pain in the leg you may notice after a vigorous or lengthy run.
Don’t brush off shin splints, or any other overuse injury for that matter.
Other over-training injuries include some classic tendonitis cases, tennis elbow, and golfers elbow, which are common in their respective sports but can affect anyone participating in repetitive motion sports, these motions cause micro-tears in a tendon that build up over time.
“They are a warning sign of a future, very serious condition,” Dr. Avgerinos said. “Shin splints can lead to stress reactions and that can eventually lead to a stress fracture.”
For more information on over-training and injuries that could crop up, speak with your health care provider.