Sports Medicine: Overuse Injuries and Conditions

A Spine Center physician reviews an X-ray.

Overuse Injuries and Conditions

What are overuse injuries and conditions?

Overuse injuries and conditions can include stress fractures, bursitis, patellofemoral stress syndrome, rotator cuff disorders, and more. They result from wear and tear on joints and muscles from too much exercise of the same type, working out hard without building up to it, and using the improper form when exercising or playing sports.


The area in which you feel pain, weakness, or numbness, or where swelling is present, depends on which joints and muscle groups you are overusing. These can include shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, back, neck, heels, and other areas. If you play a sport, you may first notice an injury when you realize you aren’t performing up to par, or you are not able to complete a motion in your usual way. Parents should be particularly observant of their children, whose technique in a sport may be modified to accommodate pain.


Perhaps you’ve suddenly taken up baseball and are determined to be the best pitcher possible. Using your rotator cuff muscles over and over again during wind-ups can cause injury; swimming can result in similar shoulder injuries. Skiing the same trail, twisting your knees over and over again, can affect those muscles and ligaments. Speed skating, gymnastics, tennis — sports that use the same muscle groups over and over again — can cause you to have an overuse injury. Occupations can have the same overuse affect: if you lift bags of mulch or luggage, work with heavy machinery, or even do the same physical office activities every day, you are in danger of overusing certain muscles and subjecting them to injury.


“Determining that an injury is being caused by overuse is really just the first step in the evaluation,” says William Giliberti, MD, an orthopedic physician at OINJ. “The injury itself — whatever it is, a sprain, a fracture, a strain, bursitis, a torn ACL, knee pain, for example — has to be treated. Once that condition has been resolved, the next step is prevention. Proper stretching, strength exercises, and warm-ups go a long way.”

“The best way to prevent an overuse injury is rest and variation,” says Jerome Rosman, MD, another orthopedic physician at OINJ. “Rest doesn’t necessarily mean staying still. It could just mean finding different activities. While adults understand this, kids often get so focused on one sport that they don’t realize the harm it does to use those same muscles over and over again in the same way. Most doctors would recommend switching up sports with the season, so muscles can still get strong and flexible, but can be used in a different way. You don’t want to risk your child having permanent injuries that can result from stress being put on the body while they are growing.”

Why Choose The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey

At OINJ, board certified physicians work collaboratively to come up with the best solutions for you. Using innovative techniques and the most up-to-date research and technologies available, our specialists have one goal: to get you back into the best of orthopedic health. We work with each other, as well as with other partners in your care, to develop the treatment plan that will work for you.

Our multiple office locations that can be reached by one centralized call center make it easy to schedule and get to appointments, and we treat patients of all ages with injuries and orthopedic conditions of all kinds.

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Featured Physicians

William S. Giliberti, MD – Orthopedic Physician

Board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Gilberti has expertise in fractures, hand injuries, and sports injuries. In addition to his position at OINJ, Dr. Gilberti is an attending physician at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson and at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, where he served as chief of surgery and chief of staff.

Dr. Giliberti completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and did his medical and general surgery internship at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ. He received his medical degree from the University of Bologna in Italy and his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University.

Jerome D. Rosman, MD – Orthopedic Physician

Board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Rosman has expertise in fractures, hand injuries, sports injuries, and trauma. In addition to his position at OINJ, Dr. Rosman is an active staff member at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson.

Dr. Rosman completed his residency in orthopedics at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, and received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) at Rutgers; his undergraduate degree in biological sciences was earned at Rutgers as well.

More Information

To learn more about our comprehensive services, contact us, or to make an appointment with one of our specialists, fill out the appointment form to the right.

The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey is a premier multi-disciplinary center offering complete orthopedic care, rehabilitation and pain management services to patients of all ages and activity levels using a customized treatment plan to fit individual needs.

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