Why You Shouldn’t Overdo It…

We have all heard the phrase “No pain, no gain.” Regarding the human body, discomfort is acceptable, but pain is not. In fact, each individual has a unique threshold of pain tolerance.

It’s important to understand and respect this limit. When the body is pushed past this “breaking point,” injuries and long-term damage can occur. On the other hand, the right approach towards exercise, nutrition, and rest can increase this limit at any age. When you exercise gradually and progressively under the supervision of a physical therapist, the body becomes stronger, and injuries are avoided.

Man lifting heavy barbells at the gym.

Overtraining syndrome occurs when an individual participates in new activities that the body is unaccustomed to. It also occurs when an individual does the same actions for a prolonged period or in the absence of warm-up and stretching routines. Sometimes, a specific area of the body hurts, and the individual notices impairments in movement, coordination, and performance. Athletes with overtraining injuries may display fatigue, disturbances in sleep patterns, and appetite suppression in severe cases.

The Physical Therapy Arsenal

If left unchecked, overtraining can lead to long-term pain and disability. Physical therapy goes a long way in the prevention of overtraining. Various physical therapy techniques can be used to evaluate, prevent, and treat overtraining injuries. These include:

Therapeutic Massage — Relaxation of soft tissue and increased blood circulation to affected areas is a great way to relieve pain and inflammation associated with overtraining.

Clinical Pilates — The specialized exercise programs of Clinical Pilates help improve flexibility and build core and pelvic floor strength.

Aquatic Therapy — Water’s buoyancy provides gentle support, allowing patients to perform movements that might not otherwise be possible. The soothing effect of water allows the body to gradually gain strength, coordination, and flexibility.

Click here to see a list of our STARS Clinics with Aquatic Therapy.

Dry Needling — Like acupuncture, dry needling releases muscle tension, alleviates pain, and stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities.

Manual Manipulation and Mobilization — A physical therapist can increase joint mobility and facilitate a return to full function by combining specialized active and passive techniques to facilitate motion between joints.

When Less Weightlifting Gives More Benefits

Overtraining injuries can happen suddenly or develop over time. With the proper precautions and supervision from a physical therapist, you can enjoy an active lifestyle without pain and discomfort. Little things go a long way in the prevention of overtraining syndrome.

Simple ways to prevent overtraining include gradual, progressive exercise, appropriate footwear, and adequate warm-up and stretching. A physical therapist will teach you to use the right technique, range of motion, and breathing when you exercise.

The therapist will also build a training program with the appropriate degree of intensity and frequency. The goal is to challenge but not overwhelm you. When you remain within your ‘threshold,’ expect significant strength, flexibility, and mobility improvements.

Contact STARS Physical Therapy today if you or someone you know has complained of pain or discomfort after swimming, cycling, running, or any activity. We will look for signs of overtraining and take action accordingly. We are committed to helping you live a happy and healthy lifestyle. We will ensure you don’t overdo it and teach you how to work smart and not just work hard. Sometimes, less is more.