The Risks of Overtraining – and How PT Can Help
It’s always better to prevent injury than to have to treat it after the fact; since we’ve mentioned overuse injuries (often sustained from overtraining), we thought it would be helpful to share what you should look for if you’re burning the candle at both ends with your activity – and risking injury in the process.
What is Overtraining?
It’s basically as simple as it sounds. Overtraining is doing too much, too often, and past the point of your body’s ability to recover quickly. Sometimes it’s as simple as advancing too quickly in a workout plan, or taking on more endurance than you’re ready for, while it can also be time racked up on your body’s odometer after months/years spent doing the same activity at a high intensity.
Some Common Symptoms of Overtaining:
Fatigue – You’re dragging, tired, and don’t have energy to get through a workout.
Aches/pains – You feel it in your body with soreness that doesn’t quickly resolve.
Run down – You notice you’re getting colds and illness more often than usual.
Apathy – The sport/activity that used to drive you out the door now can’t get you off the floor. You just aren’t enthusiastic, or even really interested.
Poor performance – You’re seeing your ability decline. Your pace, coordination, skills, etc just aren’t there like usual.
General malaise – You don’t feel well. You may have headaches and not experience your usual appetite.
Increase in injury – Here’s the final literal injury added to insult. Thanks to your body being overworked and overused, you’re experiencing a higher injury risk.
Injuries are much less common in people who are well rested, feeling good, and whose bodies are recovered from the last effort. On the other hand, people who are maxed out, tired, and trying to push their exhausted bodies through another demanding workout often end up with an injury. Sometimes these are repetitive motion-type injuries (think a pitcher’s shoulder) and other times they sneak up on you (think plantar fasciitis in runners).
How to Deal with Overtraining and Help Prevent Injury
Even the healthiest of activities should be enjoyed in moderation. If you’re noticing that you’re feeling run down, your performance is suffering, you’re getting sick more often, and you keep getting injured, it’s time to make some changes to your routine. Take time off, dial back your intensity, cross train to add variety once you’re adequately rested, and visit a physical therapist for any injuries you’re dealing with.
How PT Will Help
Your physical therapist will assess your injury and provide both instruction on helping recover and prevent future injury, as well as discuss modifications for more balanced training. A physical therapist is an expert in the musculoskeletal system and works with active people in a variety of sports and hobbies every day. S/he will develop a custom treatment plan based on your unique situation and goals, and work with you to achieve a positive outcome.
Worried you’ve overdone it? Body One Physical Therapy is here to help get you back on track. We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t add to the stress of overtraining, call Body One today.