Monthly Archives: May 2012

Are College Athlete Injuries a result of ‘Overuse’?

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Have you ever wondered why injuries occur? If there was a way that you could prevent them or if they are just inevitable when you participate in sports? I myself have been asking this questions for years.

If you are familiar with my blogs, then you are already aware that I myself am a female athlete. I am a proud member of the Women’s lacrosse team at Towson University. I have been playing lacrosse since I was five years old, along with a handful of other sports.

Just recently I obtained a season-ending injury when I tore my ACL in my left knee in our final game of the season on April 22,2012. I can honestly say that the first questions to pop up in my head were why? Why now? If I had done something different would this have happened? How could I have prevented this?

The doctors told me that it was a “ticking time bomb”, and was bound to happen sooner or later in my sports career. But if that were so, then why doesn’t everyone tear there ACL? For those people who don’t then what are they doing differently than me? Those were more questions that I kept asking myself.

So I began to look online to see if I could find some possible answers to my questions. On the Science Daily website there was a recent article from April 12, 2012 posted that was titled,  Nearly 30 percent of all College Athlete Injuries a result of ‘Overuse.’

A study has found was that most often in “low-contact sports that involve long training sessions or where the same movement is repeated numerous times — make up nearly 30 percent of all injuries sustained by collegiate athletes” (Science Daily.) During the study they also found that 62 percent of the overuse injuries occurred in females athletes.

To these results I would have to agree that athletic injuries seem to occur more throughout the female gender. Throughout my athletic history I have found that more of my female friends have sustained injuries such as tendentious, inflammation, sprains and tears.

This new study was published in the current edition of the Journal of Athletic Training, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association scientific publication.The study sample consisted of “573 male and female collegiate athletes from an NCAA Division I institution participating in 16 team sports”  (Science Daily.)

According to the study co-author Tracey Covassin, “Understanding the frequency, rate and severity of overuse injuries is an important first step for designing effective injury-prevention programs, intervention strategies and treatment protocols to prevent and rehabilitate athletes with these types of injuries”  (Science Daily.)

The study found that, “Overuse injuries tend to occur gradually and are caused by repeated small injuries, without a single, identifiable event responsible for the injury” (Science Daily.) Whereas, injuries occurring in high-speed and full-body-contact sports are “more likely to be acute injuries, which result from a specific and identifiable event”  (Science Daily.)

Through my research I found that though I cannot eliminate the possibility of overuse, it is not the main reason for my injury. Through my injury records I had hyper-extended and sprained my LCL three times before actually tearing my ligament. Thus why the “ticking time bomb” explanation was brought up. Throughout each time that I injured my knee, I just loosened the ligaments a little more than they should have been.

In addition to loosening my ligaments, on the actually day I tore my ACL it was raining outside and abnormally cold for the spring temperatures we are normally use too. With the prior injuries and the weather, this was also our final game of the season. That meaning that we had already been practicing almost everyday since January 9th.

So even though lacrosse isn’t considered to be a sport that has a history of overuse injuries, I wouldn’t eliminate that as a possibility because there is repetition is our motions.Whether exhaustion, overuse, the weather or if it was completely inevitable the injury has already occurred. Hopefully soon enough they will find better prevention tips for ACL tears, so that no other athletes have to miss their seasons.

Work Cited

Michigan State University (2012, April 12). Nearly 30 percent of all college athlete injuries a result of ‘overuse’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 7, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2012/04/120412113720.htm