Muscle strains don’t just happen out of nowhere!
As we approach the end of most summer sporting seasons, there tends to be a higher rate of injury due to built up fatigue and stress over the season. This gets compounded higher, the more sport or training a person does.
One of the biggest reasons for non-traumatic injury in sport, is training load/volume. This refers to the amount of training sessions (and games) a person does each week. Let’s look into this by comparing the following two scenarios:
1st Scenario: someone doing five, 2-hour training sessions a week
2nd Scenario: someone doing two, 2-hour sessions
Generally, the one doing more will be more fatigued and may be at a higher risk of injury.
Another big reason for injury is change in training load/volume. Going from no exercise to 10km runs every day will set one up for some form of failure very quickly if your body is not conditioned for it. Not every injury can be prevented, and they do sometimes occur suddenly, especially in a contact team sport like AFL or rugby, but in order to minimize the risk of preventable injury, managing training load is usually the way to go.
The way forward can sometimes be uncertain, with research in this field being quite conflicted. Some studies suggest that one should back off more, whilst some studies suggest one should push harder to avoid under-training. Nevertheless, what most professionals seem to agree on is that an initial gradual loading programme is crucial (a really good strength training regimen and preseason!!) in order to build one’s self up as well as they can for the upcoming season, and of course, to make rest days as important as training days.
Written by Jed (Physiotherapist, Como Physiotherapy Clinic)
Damsted C, Glad S, Nielsen RO, Sørensen H, Malisoux L. IS THERE EVIDENCE FOR AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CHANGES IN TRAINING LOAD AND RUNNING-RELATED INJURIES? A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2018;13(6):931-942.
Gabbett TJ. The training—injury prevention paradox: should athletes be training smarter and harder? British Journal of Sports Medicine 2016;50:273-280.