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Army November 10, 2011
ACROSS Australia the warmer
weather is encouraging us all
back into sport and exercise.
However, it's important to
be aware sport and exercise may not be
healthy if time is not taken to prepare.
An ADF Health Status Report (2000)
found that sport was the cause of 32 per cent
of injuries within the forces.
In total, sports and PT collectively
accounted for half of the total Defence
casualties for known activities.
While these figures may be dated, the
trends of injury and mechanisms of preven-
Factoring in human error
One of the major causes of sporting and
PT injuries is human error.
Often players simply 'jump in' to make
up the numbers or they join a social team in
which all players, regardless of skill level,
Quick games, usually of touch football
after PT sessions, are especially risky affairs.
What makes this scenario even more
concerning is the impact of the fatigue from
the PT session on technical skills, while neu-
romuscular and metabolic fatigue will reduce
technical skills even further.
This further increases the risk of injury to
not only the fatigued player but to others.
Likewise, a member may feel like going
out for a run and start at a pace and distance
based on previous training history. However,
this may be far beyond their capacity follow-
ing a period of de-training during winter.
The same scenario applies for other aero-
bic training and in weight training.
It is important, therefore, to ensure that
you are fit enough to play sport; avoid being
caught up in emotion or obligation and play
when you are unprepared; warm up before
games; return to all gym and fitness activities
gradually; and, where possible, consult with
a PTI prior to restarting your training.
It's important to treat all sporting and
Before you jump into sport, take some simple
measures to avoid injury. Physiotherapist and ex-PTI
Lt Rob Orr reports.
Stretch it: A
sport is essential to
to avoid injury
PT injuries immediately, regardless of how
small you think the injury is.
While pain is a symptom of an injury, an
absence of pain does not mean the injured
tissues have recovered.
Even if the pain may be gone the next
morning, the tissue is still damaged and sus-
ceptible to greater damage.
Injuries should be allowed to heal
before you begin playing or training again.
Inadequate recovery from an injury is a lead-
ing cause of re-injury.
The right terrain
The surfaces of most sports fields are far
from 'MCG' quality -- they may have many
potential trip hazards such as drains, sprin-
klers, uneven footing, potholes and stones.
As most team sports involve players slid-
ing, falling or jumping, such surface hazards
have the potential to not only cause sprains
and strains but also tear and graze skin.
Before playing, it pays to check your
An effective way to do this is by having
team members spread out and search for and
remove hidden obstacles.
More tips and advice from Sports Medicine Australia
can be found at www.sma.org.au/2011/09/spring-
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