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Overtraining and Burnout Symptoms

Tamara McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA

January 11, 2017



What are the key symptoms of overtraining and burnout?  


In 2014, Dr. DiFiori published a position statement in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the topic of which was overuse injuries and burnout. Some of the key symptoms that they noted are: 

  1. fatigue
  2. depression
  3. bradycardia or tachycardia
  4. loss of motivation or interest
  5. hypertension
  6. sleep disturbances
  7. insomnia
  8. irritability
  9. agitation
  10. decreased self-confidence
  11. anxiety
  12. nausea
  13. loss of appetite
  14. weight loss
  15. lack of mental concentration
  16. heavy, sore, stiff muscles
  17. restlessness
  18. frequent illness

When we see patients with overuse injuries, it is a good idea to try to assess as to whether or not there are other issues or comorbidities occurring that might be the cause or a contributing factor in the overuse injury. Frequently, there is a lot of pressure on young athletes; they may feel uncomfortable acknowledging their injury or their lack of willingness to participate in their sport with their parent or their coach. This takes us all the way back to the child health pyramid and how we as health care providers should advocate for and be the voice of reason for these children, to try to identify as soon as possible the potential for overtraining syndrome and or burnout.

tamara mcleod

Tamara McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA

Dr. Tamara Valovich McLeod is the Athletic Training Program Director, Professor of Athletic Training, Research Professor in the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, and the John P. Wood, D.O., Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. McLeod completed her doctor of philosophy degree in education with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Virginia. She was the founding director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network and her research has focused on the pediatric athlete with respect to sport-related concussion. Dr. McLeod was a contributing author for the NATA Position Statement on the Management of Sport-Related Concussion, the lead author on the NATA Position Statement on the Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries, and a consultant and contributing author on the Appropriate Medical Coverage for Secondary School-Aged Athletes. Dr. McLeod serves on numerous editorial boards, and publishes frequently in the athletic training and sports medicine journals and is a NATA Fellow.

Related Courses

Concussion Phenotyping: Cognitive and Affective Subtypes with Respect to Returning to School and Work
Presented by Tamara McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA
Recorded Webinar


Tamara McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA
Course: #4324Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'just had a lot of good information'   Read Reviews
This presentation will review the practice of concussion phenotyping to direct treatment and patient care. Specific emphasis will focus on the cognitive and affective sub-types with respect to considerations for assisting patients to return to school or work. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and athletic training and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA and AT.

Editor's Note: Regarding Pennsylvania credits, this course is approved by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for 1 hour of general and 1 hour of Direct Access CE credit.

Upper Extremity Fractures and Stages of Fracture Healing
Presented by Rina Pandya, PT, DPT
Recorded Webinar


Rina Pandya, PT, DPT
Course: #4653Level: Introductory2 Hours
  'I liked the incorporation of the X-rays with the anatomy and clinical presentation'   Read Reviews
Based on the latest evidence of fracture healing and complications responsible for impaired healing, this course also includes the classification of fractures, stages of healing, and case studies.

Clavicle and Scapula Fractures
Presented by Rina Pandya, PT, DPT
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Clavicle fractures account for 5% of upper extremity fractures and up to 15% in children. Scapular fractures account for 3% to 5% of all shoulder girdle fractures. Eighty to 95% of all scapular fractures are accompanied by other serious injuries like shoulder fractures, collarbone, and ribs. Clavicle and scapular fractures can cause serious impairment to the biomechanics of the upper extremity and function. This webinar revisits the anatomy of the clavicle and scapula and explains the fracture classification, radiological appearance, treatment strategies, and complications of these fractures.

Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes: Recognition and Management Strategies
Presented by Scott Cheatham, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, ATC, CSCS
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Scott Cheatham, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, ATC, CSCS
Course: #4429Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Important information to share with patients and family regarding sports training backed by clinical evidence'   Read Reviews
Overuse injuries have become more prevalent in youth athletes who participate in field and endurance sports. Early intervention by the healthcare provider may prevent such injuries from occurring and/or progressing. This presentation will discuss the latest evidence on overuse injuries including prevention, injury recognition, and management.

A Physical Therapist Guide to Exercise Prescription for the Diabetic and Pre-diabetic Population
Presented by Rina Pandya, PT, DPT
Recorded Webinar


Rina Pandya, PT, DPT
Course: #4483Level: Advanced3 Hours
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This course equips the physical therapist to identify pre-diabetes and type 1 diabetes in their patients based on history and clinical signs and symptoms. Exercise Prescription, the interaction of other medications, and modulation of a current exercise program for patients with diabetes as a co-morbidity are also included. This course also includes the management of diabetes from a Covid-19 perspective.

Editor's Note: Regarding Pennsylvania credits, this course is approved by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for 3 hours of Direct Access CE credit.

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