Exercise scientists say they have a few answers that can help with some common injuries. But all too often injuries remain a mystery and people may have to figure out how much exercise is too much for themselves and what sort of routines tend to produce injuries.
“We don’t have enough definitive evidence to say, ‘This causes an injury and even if you don’t have an injury you should change it,’ ” said Stephen Messier, who directs the biomechanics lab at Wake Forest University. Much of the work focuses on running injuries. But the same principles apply to swimming, tennis, bicycling or basketball.
“I think that there is a general quality of ‘heartiness’, or ‘robustness,’ that may influence who gets hurt and who doesn’t,” said Carl Foster, director of the human performance laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. “I’ve never seen any systematically collected data, and I’m not even sure what one would measure, but anyone who has worked with athletes for any time at all has seen that there are just some people who are fragile and some who aren’t.”
The New York Times Reports:
"For example, people differ in the way their tissues, bones and ligaments respond to increased training, said Dr. Gordon Matheson, an exercise physiologist and orthopedic surgeon at Stanford University and a past editor of the journal Physician & Sportsmedicine.
“You might increase your running 10 percent a week but I might be only be able to handle 8 percent a week,” Dr. Matheson said.
Then there is muscle strength and endurance, which also can vary from person to person. If your muscles tire, more stress is placed on bones and tendons, which can lead to injury.
And there is the alignment of your skeleton. You might be fine running 30 miles a week, but increasing that to 40 miles means the likelihood of an injury also goes up.
In addition, Dr. Matheson said, some people “can handle
distance but not pace.” He explained: “It’s a big jump from a 9-minute
mile to an 8-minute mile, and shock absorption can decrease
substantially making that move.”
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