Overtraining injuries are the injuries that occur to muscles when they experience extra physical stress.
Most injuries are classified as either traumatic or acute injuries or overuse or chronic injuries.
Acute injuries and pain often result from trauma. However, overuse pain and injury start off with vague symptoms which often develop gradually but are long-lasting. Therefore, an injury may show some mild symptoms in the beginning but it grows into something far worse if not treated immediately.
Chronic pain is usually caused by overuse and repetitive trauma. Overuse injuries are common amongst sportsmen and athletes who perform repetitive movements.
Extra physical stress may occur with intense physical activity; for example. Excessive strenuous exercise, which the body may not be used to; overtraining injuries are usually a part of overtraining syndrome, which also encompasses fatigue.
Apart from causing muscle fatigue and injury, overtraining may retard muscle growth and break your immune system.
Rest is equally important for your muscles as exercise; it's important to give your muscles some time for relaxation and recovery. Hard workouts with zero rest, may only give you sore muscles with muscle tears.
Hard workout doesn't always mean overtraining; there are no limits set for physical activity to be called overtraining; with proper rest and recovery time for your body you can go for hard workouts too. Overtraining is only called so, when you do not give enough time for rest and recovery to your muscles.
Overtraining injuries may present with a collection of symptoms including, heavy feeling in the legs, loss of appetite (accompanied by weight loss), long standing cold/flu (due to weakened immune system), fatigue and muscle soreness. Overtraining may also cause a decline in your subsequent performances. Certain psychological symptoms including mood swings, depression, lack of interest may also be seen.
One way of prevention from overtraining injuries includes taking rest. Rest is important for the muscles, especially for those that are not used to excessive physical stress. Taking rest can prevent muscle fatigue that may arise as a consequence of accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles during exercise. Rest will help the muscles clear up lactic acid by oxygen delivery and relieve the soreness. The more you over train, the longer will be the resting period. A mild case may however require about 3 weeks of rest.
To avoid overtraining injuries, one may start with light training and gradually increase the stress; this will cause the muscles to adapt to the strain without giving them any injury.
Start with a 3-5 minute warm up, before starting on training; a walk followed by a five minute run walk will increase blood flow to the muscles and prepare them for additional workload. Warming up will also prepare your heart to pump according to body needs before you start out the actual physical training. It will also lubricate your joints beforehand and make your movements easier.
A healthy and balanced diet can prevent one from overtraining injuries. Grab a snack within half an hour of workout to nourish your body with just the right amounts of nutrients it needs. Fresh fruits and their juices, veggies, meat, nuts and grains will help your body to replenish the fuels it's burnt up during workouts.
Last but not the least; a slumber can do well to your body. Get some nap during periods of hard workouts for it will relax both your brain and your body and help it gain the energy that may have been drained during excessive workouts.