vicious cycle

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A situation in which an action leads to another situation in which all gains brought about by the first action are lost. Typically, the initial problem may be worsened, or a series of actions and situations leads back to the initial problem. For example, an athlete with an overuse injury wants to get back to fitness after a short period of rest so overtrains, leading to further overuse injuries. See also pain cycle.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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