Is Your Injury Due to Overuse or Under Recovery?








Each year 60% of runners are injured.


Most often, the pain is labeled an overuse injury.

Subsequently athletes experience localized weakness,

altered movement patterns, and lost training days.

More frustrating though is the fact that once a runner,

or any athlete, returns to their training it is highly

likely that the injury will happen again.


It is typically understood that overuse injuries occur

due to too much training. Then why can many runners

log in countless miles without getting injured?  How

do they do it? Why aren't they getting over use



I believe it is because they injury in fact is not always

due to over training, but actually under recovery.


How do we over train?


Exercise of any kind is a stimulus used to attain a

certain response by our body.  The workout actually

causes slight damage, which is then repaired

(hopefully) better and stronger than before.


We spend a lot of time thinking about and planning our

training program (the stimulus) for better

performance.  But a stimulus is only as good as the

response that it causes.  Or as good as the body's

ability to recover from and adapt to the activity.


The damaged structures need to be repaired to

prevent more serious damage in subsequent training

sessions.  When a training regimen exceeds the rate

that the body's tissues can adapt injury occurs.


How do we under recover?


If there is no recovery, then their is no healthy

adaptation to your body.  If there is no change in your

body, then there really is no reason to keep training.  


Adequate training recovery and adaptation is critical to

seeing the gains and reaching the goals you set for your

training program. If rate of recovery is improved, more

frequent and higher intensity training is possible

without the detrimental effects of over use injuries.


Just like prescribing a medication, a recovery plans

dosage and frequency can not be arbitrary.  It is

dependent on the patient's ability to adapt, age, general

health, nutrition, and the training activity. It's our job

to provide the best environment for our body to

recover and adapt.


Three aspects of a recovery centered program:


1. Mechanical


This includes your cardiovascular, nervous, and musculo

skeletal system.  . . probably the most obvious of the

three.  Your nervous systems is the "battery" that fires

all your muscles and must be allowed to rest. The

cardiovascular system pumps blood brining oxygen and

nutrients to the muscles while removing the waste

products (ie lactic acid) that accumulate.


Massage can be a beneficial mechanical strategy to

break up scar tissue, relax the nervous system, and

improve blood flow, while decreasing muscle soreness.

Our best tool to do this is Astym, which you can learn

more about at www.astym.com.


2. Cognitive


This includes your brain, hormones, and immunity.

Cognitive strategies are used to diminish the effects of

stress hormones on the recovery process. Even work

and life stress can prevent you from recovering



Your immune system is forced to respond with "fight"

mechanisms that don't allow training adaptations to occur.

In fact, your body thinks it is still in training mode, not

recovery mode.  Anything to decrease the overall

cognitive stress (including relaxation, meditation, yoga

and the like) will assist the recovery process.


3. Nutritional


The way you fuel your body gives it the ability to adapt,

repair, and remodel tissues.  This includes protein for

tissue repair and building muscle. Carbohydrates are

needed to fuel the process and maintain the immune

system. In addition, omega 3 fatty acids decrease

inflammation and antioxidants help heal tissue.


Recovery Success!


Address these three areas to stay healthy, train hard,

and rest well.  In this way you can keep doing the

activity you love without destroying your body in the



You may already be overwhelmed by your training

schedule and don't even want to think about a recovery

plan.  Worse off, the health and fitness world is a confusing

place. But it doesn’t have to be. Let us help you make

sense of it all.


Physical therapy can provide guidance for competent self

care and health mentorship. We can guide you toward

appropriate fitness nutrition and supplementation, as well

as healthy training schedules. Inquire HERE today!


Comment below with your recovery questions, look for

next weeks blog differentiating rest from recovery, and

give us a call to get your "under recovery" injuries

resolved quickly.