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    Injury Prevention: How accurate can we be? Home / Blog / Injury Prevention: How accurate can we be?

    Injury prevention is an athlete’s dream – Imagine being able to do what we love – exercise, sport, outdoor activities – without injury. How can we achieve this? Read on to find out…!

    Some of the activities that most people think about when they hear injury prevention are:

    • Stretching (static or dynamic)
    • Mobility
    • Strapping and taping
    • Ice baths
    • Saunas
    • Manual Therapy/Treatment
    • Resistant training
    • Load management/rest

    However, the short answer to the question “can we prevent injury?” is – probably not. Injuries happen as a part of life and the activities in which we participate. The use of the word “prevention” is misguided and a more appropriate term for what we are trying to achieve is injury risk reduction.

    So what actually helps with injury risk reduction? The answer isn’t black and white, so we created a hierarchy of what is more important and what is not, summarized in a pyramid.

    Load management, rest and the necessity of an adequate diet

    Of all the activities that we can do to prevent injury these should be considered first, but unfortunately they are frequently ignored, and people tend to opt for things such as ice baths, spa, and stretching and believe that is enough – it isn’t!

    While the other modalities of injury risk reduction have both positive and negative outcomes, in clinical trials appropriate load management, rest and recovery show relatively more consistency in injury risk reduction. Load management is appropriate and adequate training, with scheduled rest to provide a stimulus for adaptation to performance, muscle strength and capacity. However over- training and consistently training to failure can cause a negative effect in adaptations, hence create an increase in injury risk.

    Image taken from: Gabbett TJ The training—injury prevention paradox: should athletes be training smarter and harder?British Journal of Sports Medicine 2016;50:273-280.

    The above graph is a hypothesized training program in respect to training load and the factors that coaches and trainers are trying to affect. As seen in the graph, finding the optimal relationship with training and rest can not only reduce the risk of injury but increase overall performance.

    Nutritional considerations should also be taken into account. While everyone pays attention to adequate protein intake, other nutritional factors such as OMEGA-3, antioxidants, collagen, calcium, Vitamins C and D and many more should also be factored in. This is especially important to people who train regularly – from amateur to professional level.


    How can the Ascot Vale Osteopathy help you? Other than helping by relieving sore muscles and the tight sensation you may be experiencing, we can help you with modifying workload/ exercise load, provide resistance exercises and help by educating you further on what else you can do. By simply introducing and creating an injury risk reduction plan within your training program, we can create further awareness of your own body and this can significantly reduce injury risk.


    Resistant training

    No matter the sport, soccer, football, combat sports, running, athletics etc. Some form of resistance training should be part of your training program. By increasing strength and muscle capacity we can in turn reduce the risk of injury.


    Stretching, Ice baths etc.

    It is common practice to stretch before and after exercise as a way of cooling down and reducing the risk of injury. BUT DID YOU KNOW? Recent studies have shown that those who regularly stretch compared to those who didn’t had no significant differences in injury rate, further that a greater thought and time should be spent on load management and other important factors that have a far greater impact on injury reduction.

    Even once we’ve taken into consideration all of this information, sometimes we still lack the knowledge and understanding of when and why some injuries occur, even for those individuals who are strict with their injury risk reduction programs. Sometimes stuff just happens. And that’s why Ascot Vale Osteopathy is here: to help you through any of your injuries and get you back on track to doing the things you love, as quickly as possible.


    Turnagöl, H. H., Ko?ar, ?. N., Güzel, Y., Aktitiz, S., & Atakan, M. M. (2021). Nutritional Considerations for Injury Prevention and Recovery in Combat Sports. Nutrients, 14(1), 53.
    Soomro N, Sanders R, Hackett D, et al. The Efficacy of Injury Prevention Programs in Adolescent Team Sports: A Meta-analysis. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2016;44(9):2415-2424. doi:10.1177/0363546515618372
    Dijksma, I., Arslan, I.G., van Etten-Jamaludin, F.S., Elbers, R.G., Lucas, C. and Stuiver, M.M. (2020), Exercise Programs to Reduce the Risk of Musculoskeletal Injuries in Military Personnel: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Injury, Function and Rehabilitation, 12: 1028-1037.
    Jiang Z, Hao Y, Jin N, Li Y. A Systematic Review of the Relationship between Workload and Injury Risk of Professional Male Soccer Players. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(20):13237.
    Gabbett TJ The training—injury prevention paradox: should athletes be training smarter and harder?British Journal of Sports Medicine 2016;50:273-280.
    Nuzzo J. L. (2020). The Case for Retiring Flexibility as a Major Component of Physical Fitness. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 50(5), 853–870.

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