What is a musculoskeletal injury? We have all experienced a sprained ankle, torn muscle or fracture bone. Musculoskeletal injuries are unfortunately something that occurs in our life from time to time and the simplest way to describe the mechanism for any injury is; the tissue (muscle, bone, ligament, tendon) that is injured could not withstand the force placed on it.
What causes a musculoskeletal injury?
All of our tissue has a capacity to withstand force which is developed from what we do on a day to day basis. We all load our muscles, bones and joints and they adapt to this loading over time.
What are the two main causes of a musculoskeletal injury?
Generally when I speak to someone who has an injury it occurs one of two ways.
- One; sudden onset, meaning they had no sign of any pain or injury previously then one day they experience the injury. This is caused from wear and tear over time, biomechanics over time wearing away the tolerance of the tissue.
- Two; tried something new. And what I mean by this is they put their bodies under a load that is does not normally experience. For example a sport or as simple as losing footing down stair and the body is not use to the force that accompanies the experience.
How can you prevent a musculoskeletal injury?
Now the way to prevent injury is applying force to the tissue in a safe setting to allow for the tissue to adapt to the force required for you to live your life injury free. This all sounds quite complicated, but I will put it simply. Look at what is required physically for you to live your life and slowly grade your physical capacity to accommodate for those needs. The same process is applied in the situation of injury. Where is your current physical capacity and where does it need to be for you to live the life you want.
How does an exercise physiologist help with a musculoskeletal injury?
An Exercise Physiologist job is to identify the needs for increase in capacity of your body and provide a graded treatment plan to overcome the injury.