Athletes and Overuse Injuries

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about sports related overuse injuries.

What are the most common overuse injuries seen in “weekend warrior” adults?

Dr. Jon Sulentic discusses common overuse injuries experienced by “weekend warriors.” Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What are the most common overuse injuries seen in "weekend warrior" adults?

The overuse injuries in the older population or the non-collegiate athlete populations are somewhat similar. For example, at the knee, typically we'll see in the younger age group, we'll often see more of a patellar tendinitis or patellar tendon overuse injury whereas as the person ages, the quadriceps tendon tends to become more involved. The mechanism by which that happens is not well understood, but probably related just to simple degenerative changes of those anatomy and one becoming the weaker of the two.

In other differences, it's probably more related to the types of sports that folks do at different stages of life. The IT Band I mentioned earlier, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, as the aging population continues to be as competitive as the younger population, that injury occurs probably equally as much even though historically there is some age related differences. I think the bottom line is that the older you get, the risk of overuse injury goes up and so in my opinion, any injury of the youth is potentially the same injury as the older athlete. As more athletes continue to stay athletic at a more elite level, those overuse demands are potentially going to increase and be harder to solve because of the aging physiology.

   

The overuse injuries in the older population or the non-collegiate athletes are somewhat similar. For example, with the knee, we'll see patellar tendinitis or patellar tendon overuse injuries in the young. As a person ages, the quadriceps tendon tends to become more involved. The mechanism by which that happens is not well understood, but it is probably related to simple degenerative changes of the anatomy.

Other differences are related to the types of sports people participate in at different stages of life. As the aging population continues to be as competitive as the younger population, the IT band syndrome injury occurs equally as much. The older you get, the more the risk of overuse injury increases. As more athletes continue to stay athletic at a more elite level, those overuse demands are potentially going to increase and be harder to solve because of the aging physiology.

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Source: Jeffrey James, DO, Jon Sulentic, DO, Premier Orthopedics; Justin Perkins, Premier Health athletic trainer; American Medical Society for Sports Medicine; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases