This week I want to discuss the difference between overuse and traumatic injuries.
Both are painful, but they require very different responses, so it is important to understand the difference.
Traumatic injuries come from a specific event that damages your body. Tripping on a curb, getting punched, and crashing a bike are all traumatic injuries. You can point to the cause with absolute certainty. Traumatic injuries are best handled by a doctor. They are excellent at fixing these problems.
Overuse injuries are different though. They are little pains that crop up after months of repeating the same activity. If you are involved in a repetitive activity like running or answering the phone and have a pain you can’t explain, it’s probably overuse. If they are diagnosed, they usually are _____itis.
The cure for overuse is rest. Massage can do wonders as well, but rest is the most important thing. Endurance athletes hate hearing that, but it’s the truth. There isn’t a pill, surgery, or exercise that will fix overuse injuries. Rest until it is healed and then get back to the activity with very limited volume. Ramp up over time and you will avoid the injury again. Too much volume too fast, and it will come back.
My number one rule is always: If it hurts, don’t do it. The pain could be before, during, or after. They all mean you need to stop and recover.