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Scientists Uncover Method of Athletic Injury Prevention

Posted on July 15, 2013

Athletic Injury PreventionAthletic Injury Prevention

Stress fractures are one of the more common injuries an athlete suffers, according to the Mayo Clinic, but new research shows that there may be a way to circumvent them. The orthopaedic fractures occur when the bone experiences very small cracks, the result of a consistent force applied by the affected individual, often during exercise.Research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting has identified preventative measures that are recommendable for athletes and military personnel to engage in to avoid the injury.

“Several potentially modifiable muscular and biomechanical factors may be playing a part in the increased rates of stress fractures in athletes and military personnel,” said Kenneth Cameron, lead author of the study.

Cameron went on to note that injury prevention programs involving preventative physical therapy may help those at risk to avoid the movement patterns that the researchers identified as being the driving force behind athletic stress fractures. Those patterns include dynamic knee rotation and frontal plane angles when landing. Previously, knee rotation and abduction angles when coming down on lower extremities were thought to be the main cause behind most athletic stress fractures.

The Mayo Clinic reported that stress fractures are a common basketball injury, in addition to track and tennis, and that those with osteoporosis or other bone weakening conditions have a higher risk of the injury.

Methods Used in the Study

The researchers examined data collected from a study of military cadets. The study analyzed motion during a jump landing task at the beginning of each subject’s time in the military. There were 1,843 subjects, 94 of whom suffered a lower-extremity stress fracture over the span of the follow-up period. The new report found that females were almost three times more likely to suffer this kind of injury.

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