Bone Injury – Part 1 of 3

It is a known fact that human beings are structurally and physiologically developed for long distance running, which has been exemplified during our time as hunters and gatherers. In today’s society it is rare that people run for survival purposes, however people still run long distances to take full advantage of the associated health benefits.
Unfortunately this form of physical activity comes with risk, especially overuse injuries to bone. Today the stride talks all things bone in regards to long distance runners – How bone injury occurs. In the following upcoming blogs we will give a follow on and insight to:
  • How we detect bone injury
  • Incidences – high / low risk fractures and sites
  • Further Reasoning behind fractures
  • Physiological responds to load – How we assist athletes
HOW BONE INJURIES OCCURS
When running your bone will be subject to ground reaction forces. That is the force returned to your body as you repetitively land on the surface you run on. This force will result on load being placed on bone. This form of load will place strain on the bones subject to the load – foot, ankle, shin, knee, hip, pelvis and lower back (Lanovaz, 2012). Many people will say surfaces are better than another, and some people will even say you shouldn’t run. However running shouldn’t be considered a negative form of exercise, as load has many positive effects. These positive effects include better bone maturity and development, which in turn allows bone to withstand forces of similar nature in future events (Bayraktar, 2004).
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However, there are times in which load or running forces can have a negative influence on bones. This is when there is an imbalance in continuous or excessive load, without bones as mentioned above having time to remodel, repair and adapt. It is known that with an accumulation of load or damage bones can have a stress reaction. With the same stimulus placed on the bones in question, stress reactions can lead to stress fractures and in some incidents a complete fracture. This is more commonly seen in athletes under the age of 25, and in runners with techniques that place degrees of stress on a precise total surface area (Warden, 2014).
However, The Stride would like to make note that due to genetic differences, pathology and medications that some runners may be on, the likelihood of bone injuries can be higher and in these cases further preventative measures should be taken to avoid complications.
Stride on!
Pic source = wikimedia.org

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