Navigating Overuse Injuries in the New Year: A Comprehensive Guide from Sustain Physical Therapy

overuse injuries


With the New Year comes new resolutions, and for many in Boston, this means stepping up their fitness game. However, this increase in physical activity often leads to overuse injuries. At Sustain Physical Therapy, a leading provider of physical therapy in Boston, we frequently encounter conditions like runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, and rotator cuff tendonitis, especially during the late January and February surge in gym activity.

Overuse Injuries: A Closer Look:

Overuse injuries occur when repetitive stress is placed on a body part without adequate rest. They differ from acute injuries, which result from a single, traumatic event. Understanding these injuries’ nature helps in prevention and effective treatment. Our team at Sustain Physical Therapy specializes in addressing these common concerns, offering tailored treatment plans for each individual.

The Role of Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy is instrumental in both treating and preventing overuse injuries. At our Boston clinic, we focus not just on rehabilitation, but also on educating clients about injury prevention. Our approach includes a comprehensive assessment, individualized treatment plans, and guidance on proper exercise techniques. We specialize in various areas, including shoulder injury PT and running PT, ensuring that each client receives care that is specific to their needs and fitness goals.

injury Causes

Common Causes and Misconceptions:

While poor form or biomechanics can contribute to overuse injuries, the most frequent cause we see is an excessive increase in activity intensity. The body needs time to adapt to new stresses, and pushing too hard too quickly can lead to injury. Our physical therapists emphasize the importance of gradual progression in any fitness program.

Understanding and Managing Load:

The key to preventing overuse injuries is managing the load placed on the body. This involves balancing exercise intensity, frequency, and duration with adequate rest and recovery. Our physical therapists work with clients to develop a balanced workout regimen that fosters gradual improvement without overloading the body.

The Goldilocks Principle in Physical Therapy:

In physical therapy, particularly in areas like shoulder injury PT and running PT, we often talk about the Goldilocks principle – not too much, not too little, but just right. This principle is crucial when starting a new exercise program or ramping up your training. It’s about finding the level of activity that challenges you without pushing you into the danger zone of overuse injuries.

Developing a Structured Workout Plan:

Having a well-planned workout routine is essential in preventing overuse injuries. This plan should include a variety of exercises that work different muscle groups, allowing some parts of the body to rest while others are being worked. It’s also important to include both strength training and cardio workouts to create a well-rounded fitness program.

exercise solutions

Exercise Selection and Understanding:

Knowing what exercises to do and understanding their purpose is crucial. For example, in shoulder injury PT, exercises are focused on strengthening the rotator cuff and improving shoulder mobility. In running PT, the focus might be on lower limb strength and improving running mechanics. Our therapists at Sustain Physical Therapy guide clients in selecting the right exercises and understanding their benefits.

Tracking Progress:

Monitoring your progress is vital in a fitness program. It helps in recognizing achievements and identifying when changes in the routine might be needed. Whether it’s increasing weights, altering repetitions, or adjusting the length of workouts, keeping track of your progress is key to a successful fitness journey.

Importance of Recovery:

Adequate rest and recovery are as important as the workouts themselves. This includes quality sleep, proper nutrition, and incorporating rest days into your fitness regimen. Recovery allows the body to heal and adapt, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.

The Joy of Fitness:

Remember, fitness should be enjoyable. Finding activities you love and focusing on gradual improvement makes the process rewarding. At Sustain Physical Therapy, we encourage our clients to embrace their fitness journey, celebrating every milestone along the way.


As you embark on your fitness resolutions this year, remember the importance of a balanced approach. At Sustain Physical Therapy, we’re committed to helping the Boston community achieve their fitness goals safely and effectively. Whether you’re dealing with an overuse injury or looking to prevent one, our team is here to provide expert guidance and support.

a man in a green shirt smiling in front of a gym.

Dr. Adam Babcock PT, DPT

Sustained Fitness and PT

"We Help Active Adults Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active, Get Back To What They Love To Do, and Do It For Decades"