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Sports fatigue

Overwhelming sustained feeling of exhaustion and decreased capacity to complete physical exercise

HCA UK sports medicine specialists can diagnose and treat sports fatigue and any underlying conditions

About sports fatigue

Sports fatigue can come on suddenly or after cumulative periods of exercise. It be a case of over-training, or it may point to an underlying health condition such as diabetes, heart disease or thyroid issues. It's important to discuss excessive fatigue with your consultant to rule out any problems.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of sports fatigue? icon plus

    Sports fatigue may be caused by chronic overtraining, long periods without planned recovery or rest, the wrong type of diet, lack of hydration and increased stress. Chronic overtraining symptoms are:

    • tiredness
    • altered sleep patterns
    • reduced sporting performance
    • longer recovery times
    • feeling moody
    • unusual heart rate at rest or during exercise
    • more injuries than usual

    Acute fatigue is where your body isn't conditioned enough and cannot cope with the exercise. You may experience cramping and sore muscles a few days after exercise, or you may simply 'hit a wall'. This is often the case with long distance running.

  • How is sports fatigue diagnosed? icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your sports fatigue symptoms with you and help make a diagnosis. They may order tests to rule out any underlying issues, such as infections, anaemia and iron deficiency.

    Heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnoea and thyroid problems may also be investigated. They will also ask about your training schedule, diet and rest patterns to determine the actual cause.

  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    If you have an underlying health condition, you may be referred to a specialist for further treatment. Otherwise, your fatigue may be cause by over-training.

    Your consultant will help you strike the right balance between training and recovery to improve the symptoms. You may also see a dietician, to make sure you're getting appropriate nutrition.

Our sports and exercise consultants

We're proud to work with leading sports medicine physicians who work across a range of medical fields, to help identify causes of sports-related problems.

Our sports and exercise specialists work with professional athletes, high level amateurs and every day sporting participants. 
Consultant in theatres

Our locations

From complex sports related surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional sports medicine care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics

Request a Sports Medicine appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced sports medicine consultants. We can also make appointments for outpatients physiotherapy.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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