COVID-19 and Overuse Orthopaedic Injuries
COVID-19 has altered the landscape of our world. Daily life has drastically changed for people of all ages. Our social interaction with others has decreased considerably and many people are working less or not at all. With this sudden shift, people are also experiencing an increase in physical activity and exercise.
As people try to navigate the new reality of COVID-19 restrictions, the increase in exercise has become a great outlet and opportunity to deal with stress and anxiety. While this has been a positive impact for many people, it can have some negative consequences.
Overuse injuries are orthopaedic injuries that result from repetitive motion causing stress or trauma to a certain part of the body. As people seek to add or increase their exercise level during the COVID-19 pandemic, overuse injuries can bring added frustration. Whether running, golfing, swimming, or throwing, any new routine should be approached with caution and patience.
Common Overuse Injuries Related to Exercise
- shin splints
- stress fractures
- tennis elbow
- swimmer’s shoulder
- runner’s knee
- jumper’s knee
If you think that you are suffering from an overuse injury, you might be able to treat it at home with rest, ice or over-the-counter pain reliever. However, some overuse injuries will require consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon.
The new regulations imposed by COVID-19 might make it more difficult to consult with an orthopaedic surgeon. Some offices are limiting their services to emergency cases only or offering telemedicine as an alternative to an office visit. Therefore, be sure to get information about your physician’s COVID-19 policies before scheduling an appointment.
Preventing Overuse Injuries
If you are seeking to prevent an overuse injury, there are a few simple things you can do to increase your exercise without these unintended, painful consequences. To start, take it slow! Increase your activity level in small increments. Additionally, be sure to give you body rest in between workouts so healing can occur. If you start to experience pain from your exercise, listen to your body and take some time off. Often, overuse injuries can be avoided if you are patient and avoid the temptation to just push through the pain.