Injury Foresight: Can We Predict Injuries?

No one can predict the future. Unexpected and unexplainable phenomena happens to people on a daily basis. Car accidents can happen even when you drive perfectly. Recipes can ruin even when you follow them step-by-step. And, unfortunately, even elite athletes can fall victim to injury even with great coaching and training. In a world that is changing by the second, we have yet to truly solve the problem of athletes and injuries. While a new generation of athletes are more explosive and stronger, the rate of injuries are not only maintaining but actually increasing. With all of our advances in society, how have we not found a way to predict and prevent injuries to our elite and every-day athlete?

The solution to predicting future injuries lies in proper assessment and treatment. Rather than over-reliance on any one particular orthopedic test or movement, it’s taking the individual athlete and assessing him or her based on the particular sport technique, functional movement, orthopedic tests, and response to conservative treatment such as manual therapy and physical therapy.

The first part of predicting injuries lies in the sport itself. Does that athlete mirror other elite athletes of his sport? However, this requires careful consideration. Not every swimmer will be the next Michael Phelps just like no basketball player will ever be Michael Jordan. That is why it is important to compare the common athlete with those who competed at the highest level with the most longevity. In short, the best athletes with the longest careers are the ones typically with the best technique in the sport.

Second, functional and orthopedic tests help determine why the athlete has trouble reaching optimal technique. For example, if a swimmer has difficulty putting his arm in the recovery position during freestyle, these tests can determine if the issue is with the elbow being able to bend past 90 degrees or with the lack of proper retraction from the shoulder, or a multitude of other issues. These tests help narrow down the potential cause of injury.

After narrowing down the cause, the best way to prevent and assess the injury is through conservative treatment. This includes the use of therapeutic exercises typically combined with forms of manual therapy such as soft tissue mobilization, dry needling, and joint manipulation. The manual therapy side of treatment focuses on remodeling the tissue at or around the affected area, while the exercises reinforce proper movement habits. After a trial of conservative care, a re-assessment is done and the athlete is back to sport after injury-predicting movements are decreased during performance.

Yet still the question remains, where can an athlete turn to receive this comprehensive assessment? At Circle City Motion, we specialize in this exact model to decrease the chance of a potential injury and optimize an athlete’s performance. Rather you’re a swimmer looking for your first Olympic Trial cut or an average Joe or Jill trying to lift more in the gym, we help you stay active and healthy by preventing or treating injuries to keep you moving! Schedule online with one of our providers today if you feel like being the best athlete you can be!


Indianapolis, IN

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