An Inter-disciplinary Approach: Aetiology of Overuse Injuries in Runners.
Overview: When analysing overuse injuries, researchers have to consider the environment (SES) and psychology of the individual (personality traits and stress), and the impact this has on an individual’s physiology (bone resorption, muscle activation/recruitment/endurance, and anatomical alignment), which then impacts on the biomechanical running pattern (hyperpronation) and so increases the risk of overuse injuries. Researchers need also to consider the forces acting upon on a body, which are multidirectional and can be generated from outside or within the structure. Furthermore, anatomical structures are interconnected, thus loads can be dissipated through joints, affecting the site of injury and making it difficult to validate the true stress measure on a particular segment. These measurements would differ from one individual to another, depending on the frequency of training determined by the behavioural tendencies the runner adopts and the nutritional intake, which can be cofounded by environmental influences. All of these factors can affect the risk of running injuries.
A preferable approach to limiting the risk of overuse injuries in runners is to act proactively. If biomechanical and physiological risk factors could be used to apply threshold limits in relation to training intensities, the runner could potentially be advised on training conditions which are safe. This could be achieved by a medical examination, complimented with a psychological analysis of behavioural tendencies of the runner and wearable instrumentation. This would show who is at more risk of acquiring an overuse injury. Therefore adaptations in a runner’s training can be tailored for the individual. However to accomplish this, it requires scientific fields to work in collaboration and the creation of portable devices to allow for simple, efficient testing methods to be conducted with appropriate feedback to the athlete and support staff.