Overuse Injuries

overuse injury

Overuse Injuries

You’ve decided to take up a new sport to increase your fitness. You go all out – new gear, a renewed motivation and the latest fitness tracking app. You start training hard, very hard. But after only a couple of weeks, you’re in serious pain and can barely move. You hobble to the doctor who tells you you have an “overuse injury”. Sounds familiar? 

Overuse injuries can happen to all of us, sportspersons and everyday athletes alike. They occur when we take on too much physical activity too soon instead of pacing ourselves. This causes repetitive trauma to a bone, muscle, or tendon which does not get enough time to heal. At first, you may notice a niggling twitch which gradually becomes more uncomfortable and then  develops into severe pain that prevents you from doing your activity/sport for a while. 

5 Common Overuse Injuries:

Runner’s Knee 

If you feel a burning pain in between the knee cap and thigh bone, you probably have Runner’s knee, also called patellofemoral pain. Make sure you wear proper footwear to suit the activity you’re engaged in.  Visit our podiatrists to do a thorough gait analysis while running. 

Achilles Tendinitis 

If you have Achilles tendinitis, you will feel a strong pain in the back of the ankle where the tendon attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. This injury takes time to heal.  If needed, our podiatrists can make customised orthotics to wear in your footwear that will alleviate the pain. 


The ITB is the Iliotibial Band is a large tendon that runs from the outside of your hip to just below the knee. When the ITB gets irritated or swollen from rubbing against your hip or knee bones, it causes lateral pain on the outside of your knee. In addition to rest, ice and massaging the area, our podiatrists may prescribe orthoses.

Shin Splints

If you suffer from pain along the shinbone from the knee to the ankle, you have medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints. It causes a series of small tendinitis and stress fractures. If you’re a runner whose shoes do not have enough padding, you can develop shin splints because your shins are absorbing the shock instead of your shoes. If anti-inflammatory medication, rest, and ice don’t bring relief, consult our podiatrists who will make  a pair of custom orthotics in our in-house lab. 

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is heel pain that occurs when the plantar fascia, a strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot, becomes irritated and inflamed. Our podiatrist will recommend a series of stretching exercises to strengthen the plantar fascia. They can also make custom orthotics to help support your feet. 

Prevention of Overuse Injuries

The best way to manage an overuse injury is to identify it early and take necessary precautions. Make sure you don’t train too much. If you go too fast, exercise for too long or do too much of one type of activity, it can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury. If you do have a previous sports injury, try not to return to training too soon and give your body adequate time to recover. 

If you’re doing a sport/activity, but your technique is wrong, it overloads the muscles used incorrectly and causes an injury. Using the correct form is crucial to prevent overuse injuries. Also make sure to mix up your routine with cross-training, so that you’re doing a variety of exercises that use different muscle groups instead of overloading one particular group.

If you have an overuse injury or biomechanical abnormalities in the foot and ankle, visit our podiatrists who will do a detailed foot and ankle examination and give you rehabilitation exercises to do. They can do a biomechanical gait analysis and make customised orthotics in our in-house laboratory, if needed.