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Wear And Tear

It’s already April, and many of us who have largely hibernated during the winter are again venturing outside to engage in our favorite forms of exercise and rec- reation. Unfortunately, no matter what you’re up to, there’s always the risk of injury. Fortunately, a little awareness can help keep you both active and injury free.

As we all get outdoors this month, we’re taking a look at some of the more popular forms of exercise in Texas—and some of the most common afflictions that come with the territory. Many of these injuries can be treated at home with rest, anti-inflammatory medications and improved exer- cise form. But if the pain persists, don’t hesitate to get professional medical help.


• Shin splints are small tears in the muscles around your shinbones, and are common among new runners or after a long layoff from running.

• Runner’s knee is an irritation under the kneecap that can flare up while descending stairs or hills, or leaning too far forward while exercising.

• IT band syndrome involves the iliotibial (IT) band, a tendon connecting the knee to your hip. It occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed, creating the feeling of being stabbed on the side of the knee.

• Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon just above the heel, often caused by overexertion and tight calf muscles.

• Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation at the bottom of the foot which can lead to excruciating pain and is often caused by tight calf muscles.


• Achilles tendinitis is an overexertion injury that for cyclists can also be caused by a poor bike fit and improper position of shoe cleats.

• Patellar tendonitis is similar to runner’s knee and is an inflammation of the patellar tendon located just below the knee, and can be caused by a seat that’s too low or riding too long using big gears.

• Saddle sores are skin irritations caused by your bones rubbing against your bicycle saddle. Old shorts and a saddle that’s too high are common causes.

• Lower back pain can be caused by a poor bike fit and long hours in an aggressive riding position.


• Swimmer’s shoulder is caused by the repetitive motion of swimming and can lead to pain and inflammation in the shoulder joint, especially in cases of incorrect technique or overwork.

• A labrum tear, a more severe form of swimmer’s shoulder, is a tear in the labrum fibrocartilage that helps keep the ball joint in place. If left untreated, surgery may be required.

• Breaststroker’s knee is very common among those using this stroke. Due to the wide kick and over rotation of the knees, inner parts of the knees can become inflamed, leading to chronic pain.

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