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Overuse Injuries. Does Stuff Really Wear Out?

running physical therapy, triathlete, trail run, sport injury, sport rehab

The short answer to this question is yes. Our body's tissues will naturally degrade and deteriorate over time but we can do things to help slow this process considerably.

We’ve all heard to term “overuse injury” be thrown around in different circles. If you’re a swimmer, triathlete or Crossfit athlete you’ve definitely heard this. Maybe you’ve even been given this as a reason, or I like to say excuse, for your injury. These injuries are common and we typically see them come from two main reasons:

1) You’ve started doing a new activity or added more volume or intensity to your activity too quickly and the tissues in your body were not ready to handle that amount of loading.

2) You’ve been moving a certain way for a long time, often this is years, and over time those movement patterns and biomechanical inefficiencies breakdown because they often are not optimal movement pattern for our bodies. Things get excessive wear and tear because of consistent abnormal loading. We call this “repetitive micro-trauma.”

So what do we do about it? Do we just say that stuff wears out and that if you’re a swimmer you’re destined to have to have shoulder surgery one day or that if you’re an avid runner that at some point you’ll need that total knee replacement? Or can we slow that process down a bit? I think we can!

Anyone involved in a repetitive movement sport (ie: swimming, running, cycling, weight lifting, Crossfit) should invest in themselves and learn how they move and learn to do it better. By getting a real evaluation from a professional who not only understands movements associated with your sport but knows how to train within that sport can be a huge game changer. An evaluation can reveal inefficiencies, asymmetries and compensatory patterns that other wise may have gone unseen and could cause potential injury. Those same movement faults are also HUGE leaks in your performance potential! By optimizing how you move and learning how to control your body within its abilities is a very powerful tool and you can increase your performance potential without even training harder. You’re just training smarter. (I think there’s a saying that goes with that, right?)

If you’d like to avoid overuse injury in your sport or activity and would like to improve your performance as well check out how Streamline Performance Physical therapy can help you achieve your goals, stay healthy and train harder and more effectively than ever before. Visit to learn more.

Dr. Nick Hadinger’s physical therapy practice is in Phoenix, AZ and he specializes in helping active adults, swimmers, triathletes and Crossfit athletes improve performance and overcome or avoid injury by blending his knowledge of concepts from sport specific injury rehab as well as strength and conditioning. Dr. Hadinger is a licensed physical therapist who swam collegiately for the University of Arizona, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and obtained his degree as a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University. He currently works as a member of USA Swimming’s Sport’s Medicine Network and travels to various meets to work with athletes in this arena. The views expressed in this piece are his alone and should not be taken for personal medical advice. If you’d like an injury consult please contact Dr. Hadinger at

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