1) Progress little by little
In the attempt to exercise regularly, jogging emerges as an easy option to meet our goals. In spring, there are the episodic runners who want to reach their optimal physical shape for the summer, added to those who train regularly, and they are seen running the whole year, even on rainy days. Jogging, apart from being time consuming, is a relatively safe and easy alternative to exercise. Is it really safe?
In a study published in 2018, both inexperienced and experienced runners were studied. Of 4,621 runners, more than 30% had an injury during 1 year of exercise. Being a beginner corresponds to an added risk factor. In addition, the area that is most susceptible to injury is the knee, with about 1/3 of injuries
Ellen Kemler, Donna Blokland, Frank Backx & Bionka Huisstede (2018)
Differences in injury risk and characteristics of injuries between novice and experienced
runners over a 4-year period, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 46:4, 485-491, DOI:10.1080/00913847.2018.1507410
2) Don't spend money unnecessarily When seeing people exercising, many times some stand out above the rest. Whether on their legs or arms, they have a kind of elastic attached to the skin, of vibrant colors (tape or taping). Taping is a technique used in the context of musculoskeletal injuries with the aim of giving additional support to the musculoskeletal system and consequently reducing the pain of certain injuries. Its use began in the 1980s and has become widespread, now even with corresponding courses and certifications. What does the evidence say about its use? In a 2012 systematic review, with 6 relevant studies, taping did not consistently demonstrate effectiveness in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Nor did it prove to be an unsafe alternative in its application.
Mostafavifar, M., Wertz, J., & Borchers, J.W. (2012). A systematic review of the effectiveness of kinesio taping for musculoskeletal injury. The Physician and sportsmedicine, 40 4, 33-40 .
3) Rest after periods of intense exercise
Studying 56 European professional soccer teams for 7 seasons, it was observed that the winter rest of 10 days versus teams without rest, decreased the incidence of injuries. Teams without a winter break lost an average of 303 extra days of competitive work relative to teams with a break. In addition, severe injuries increased in teams without rest. Interestingly, all the teams without rest correspond to English football teams.
Ekstrand J, Spreco A, Davison MElite football teams that do not have a winter break lose on average 303 player-days more per season to injuries than those teams that do: a comparison among 35 professional European teams British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019;53:1231-1235.
4) Train in a personalized way
Before engaging in physical activity, as an amateur athlete, one tends to imitate the attitudes of other more experienced athletes. If Roger Federer performs stretching exercises in an exhibition, we probably associate that this type of maneuvers will favor us, or so we think.
Contrary to popular belief, stretching is far from what we necessarily need to do to prevent injury.
Traditionally we launch into a sport, without any preparation based on the "trial-error" method, trying to play paddle tennis, tennis, volleyball, soccer, etc. for the first time.
What do we need to really prevent extremity injuries?
In addition to strength-based training, neuromuscular training concepts come into play. A systematic review shows us that strength and balance exercises together are more important than each one on its own.
Brunner R, Friesenbichler B, Casartelli NC, et al Effectiveness of multicomponent lower extremity injury prevention programmes in team-sport athletes: an umbrella review British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019;53:282-288.
5) Excessive exercise is also harmful
Every year the UEFA Champions League is played and every 4 years we have a World Cup that brings together the top soccer stars and their teams. The workload of the players is tremendous, since they not only play for their sports clubs, but also for their national teams if they are called up. Does this work overload translate into a higher prevalence of injuries as the years go by?
In a review of data from retired professional players, looking at the incidence of knee osteoarthritis compared to the general population, former players had 2 times more pain in the knee area and required more knee replacement surgery (3 times more than in the general population)
Fernandes GS, Parekh SM, Moses J, et al Prevalence of knee pain, radiographic osteoarthritis and arthroplasty in retired professional footballers compared with men in the general population: a cross-sectional study. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018;52:678-683