Effectiveness of an Injury Prevention Program on Division I Track & Field Runners

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Courtney Almendinger, SPT, Aaron Lemon, SPT, Brooke Ireland, SPT, & Anna Sudbeck, SPT

20 Comments on “Effectiveness of an Injury Prevention Program on Division I Track & Field Runners

  1. Good poster and presentation. I’m curious about the injury of the athlete in the IP group. What was the injury sustained? Would the exercises prescribed been a potential diathesis for the injury sustained?

    I may have missed this in the presentation, but what was the dynamic functional exercise prescribed?

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    • That is a great question. Due to protecting the athlete’s confidentiality, we did not share the specific injuries reported. We did meet with the head track coach before implementing this research, and he discussed broadly with us his concerns on the prevalence of hamstring injuries in the past couple of years. That information helped guide what we tested the athletes for in the pre-screen, specifically glute strength. The goal of the dynamic functional exercises the athletes worked towards was to essentially practice the mYBT with good form.

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  2. Great presentation! My questions are as follow: Why were only 2 out of the 6 athletes placed in the control group? How many student-athletes took the survey originally to see if they qualified for the study?

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    • Thanks for your question, Lindsay! It just happened that due to various reasons, the athletes who completed the survey that did not follow through with us were all in the control group which made the numbers uneven. I do not know how many athletes originally completed the survey, but the survey was sent out to all track athletes. Unfortunately, despite attempts to reach out we still ended up with a very small sample size.

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  3. Great job on your poster and presentation! Do you know if the track team was performing generic RRI prevention programs in addition to your individualized treatment?

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  4. Great question Sydney! To our knowledge, they were doing a few generic RRI prevention exercises as a part of their warm up and cool down. It is on the athletes to ensure it was being completed and completed correctly. Due to this fact, we do not have a good idea how compliant the athletes as a whole are to the exercises.

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  5. Hey guys! I was wondering if you considered including cross country athletes in your study or if you think that would be of interest looking into for future research based on literature? I was just curious due to their prevalence of overuse injuries as well. Great poster and presentation!!

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  6. Great question Shanna. We did not consider including cross country athletes in the study since they were in-season, while the track and field athletes were pre-season. The training load between those two are very different and we did not want our data skewed one way or the other as a result of the difference in training/competing. If we would have wanted to include cross country runners, we would have to do it while they were in their pre-season which was during the summer, and not possible for us while we were in clinic.

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  7. Great job on your poster and presentation! Would you be able to say if the one athlete who was injured if they were a multi-event athlete or not? If so, do you think this had any effect on their injury? Also did you have the athletes keep a diary or log of when they performed the exercises you gave them or did they only do them with you guys in the sessions? Thanks!

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  8. Excellent job on the poster and presentation! It is very well laid out and easy to interpret. You mentioned that the athletes were instructed to journal and keep track of exercise completion. If there was a HEP, how good were the subjects about completing the HEP, per their report? Do you believe adherence to the HEP had an effect on the outcome of the study? If there wasn’t a HEP, do believe that providing one would have changed the outcomes? Thank you!

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    • Great question Kelsey! We did create an individualized home exercise program for each athletes to complete every week. These programs were then reviewed and potentially progressed each PT visit depending on the athlete’s performance. The HEP was presented to the participants as a calendar log where all exercises were written on each day we wanted the athlete to perform it along with the dosage (sets/reps). The athletes were then instructed to mark off each exercise or day after they completed there exercises, then brought the completed exercise log with them to their next PT visit. For the most part, the athletes were compliant with the prescribed exercises; however, a lack of compliance would have definitely impacted our outcomes.

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  9. Great question Chesney. As for the injured athlete, I do not believe they were a multi-event athlete. We had a athlete keep a log of all the exercises and when they completed them to help with patient compliance. During our sessions, we would do the exercises as well as other mobilizations as appropriate.

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  10. Great presentation! You mentioned how gender and hormones affect injury prevalence. Since most of your subjects were females, did you consider how the female athlete triad may affect your results?

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    • Good question, Cailey! Gender differences and hormones were mentioned in our introduction but since it wasn’t a focus of our research, it wasn’t discussed in depth. It could definitely have an impact on running related injuries, especially stress fractures, and is something to be aware of when working with female athletes. A great consideration to point out. We also calculated the BMIs of all our athletes and there were no values of concern- or any other concerning warning signs- which is another reason why it may not have come up in our discussion.

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  11. Awesome presentation everyone! Do you know if there are any significant differences in either injury prevalence or types of injuries based on what events the track athlete participates in (i.e. a 100 meter athlete vs. a 1600 meter athlete)? If so, do you think this would need to be addressed in larger scale studies?

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  12. Good question Caleb. It’s hard to say if there are any significant differences in the prevalence of a specific injury based on the T&F event an athlete participates because a lot of what we researched on our own as well as assessed in our own research was related more to the athlete’s biomechanics, which I believe has a greater impact on the type of injury they may sustain. One article we referenced found a connection between glute med weakness and increased prevalence of ITBS, PFPS, and achilles tendinopathy, which is why hip abductor strength was a focus of our research as well. Injuries may be more individualized to an athlete’s specific deficit whether it be a strength, mobility, or proprioceptive deficit affecting their running mechanics, placing increased stress in a certain area due to compensation strategies. There are obviously other intrinsic factors that affect injury prevalence as we mentioned in the introduction also, but like you said, looking at the relationship between a specific injury and a specific event may have to be addressed in larger scale studies where that relationship is specifically addressed and more of a focus.

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  13. Overall, this was really interesting and you all gave a great presentation! My question may not completely relate to the research that your group conducted, but more of an afterthought that may contribute to injuries in runners. In your risk factors and prevention slide, your group talked about diet and how it may contribute to running injuries. What are your groups’ thoughts on including diet screening and tracking in future studies and making sure that runners have a positive energy balance incorporated with the tailored exercise program? Another aspect would be including bone density screening before utilizing a tailored exercise program to see where the athlete is at for risk of stress injuries and incorporating that into your exercise program development and overall discussion. Just wondering what your thoughts are, Thanks!

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  14. Great question Cassidy. A diet screen and then tracking their diet would be an interesting concept to study all on its own. One thing that would make that type of study difficult is the fact that the athletes are most likely utilizing the college cafeteria. This makes it difficult for them to really track what type of nutrients, such as fat, carbs, protein, vitamins, etc. that are in the food they are eating. But helping ensure they have a positive energy balance would be beneficial in helping to prevent injury.
    As for the bone density screen, it may not be as beneficial due to stress fractures can be brought upon by many different factors such as bone density, nutrient deficits, or training load to name a few. It may help find athletes who are more at risk for a catastrophic event, but that is still only a small percentage of those who are injured throughout a season.

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  15. Very interesting study! You had mentioned during the presentation that one of the athletes started their tailored exercise program 2 weeks later than the other athletes due to an injury. How might the proximity of this athlete being so recently injured affect the results of this study considering the guidelines for training prescription with return to sport and acute risk of re-injury? Do you think there was adequate time for this athlete to participate in his/her tailored exercise program to see the full benefits it could potentially offer?

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    • Great question Justine. We re-screened the athlete and made sure they fit our criteria we had previously defined as an athlete who is not currently injured. We do not think the proximity of the injury would have skewed the results of this study otherwise we would have excluded them from the study. Although, since we had such a small sample size, the weight of the results of one athlete is heavy on how it impacts the overall results. As far as benefits, the results of the pre and post tests show they did improve in areas of strength and movement quality. Since they had less time to participate and receive feedback on exercises, they most likely did no see the full benefits the tailored exercise program could offer.

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