Andreas Lundberg Zachrisson, in association with the Gothenburg Athletics Federation, followed 58 athletes for an entire season and allowed physiotherapists and doctors to diagnose their overuse injuries. Of the 58 athletes, 42 athletes sustained a trauma injury at some point during the season. Some suffered multiple injuries due to the overload
What surprised us was that the overload injuries were widespread. More than half of them were classified as dangerous and this resulted in the complete or partial absence of training for at least 28 days. Of course, Andreas Lundberg Sacherson says it negatively impacts athletes’ performance because they are unable to fully complete their training.
Excess damage It occurs gradually or suddenly, and is due to a prolonged accumulation of pregnancy without sufficient time for recovery. Acute injuries and repeated injuries among athletes were not included in the study.
Most of the damage is in the construction stage
The athletics season is usually divided into a building phase from October to December, indoor competitions during the winter, a new building phase from March to May, and then outdoor competitions during the summer.
Most of the damage occurred in the construction phase from October to December. This may be because athletes take a break during September and start training at a very high intensity in October rather than gradually increasing training after the rest, says Andreas Lundberg-Zaccherson.
The number of casualties also increased during the second construction phase. The contributing reason may be the training camps that many go to in March and April. There, it is possible for athletes to increase their training volume because they are in the camp and this could lead to overuse injuries.
Risk factors for injuries
90% of overuse injuries occurred in the hips, thighs, feet, and lower legs. The causes were significantly individual and varied. In order to investigate the relationship between risk factors and overload injuries, all athletes underwent an examination at the start of the study in which muscle flexibility and range of motion in the joints were measured. Additionally, running analysis and static strength tests were performed.
For many risk factors, the relationship between injury overload becomes stronger when injuries are grouped by site, such as hip and hip injuries. But larger studies, which also include the shape and size of exercise, are needed to know when the risk of injury increases.