Orthopedics This Week | February 14, 2017 - Page 8


Preparing and Treating the Warrior Athlete


More than one in ten warrior athletes experienced at least one musculoskeletal injury during basic training . And those who were injured were three times more likely to be discharged . A new epidemiological study documents injury incidence , cost and other factors that affect the military ’ s battle readiness .

In their mission to protect the United States , military men and women put immense pressure on their bodies to be battle ready . However , while they along with firefighters and police are recognized as a special sort of athlete , they don ’ t always receive the same level of care from sports medicine teams as other athletes do .
A special issue of The Journal of Athletic Training recently highlighted the specific demands these “ tactical athletes ” experience and the need for more research in this critical aspect of sports medicine .
Co-Guest Editor JoEllen Sefton , Ph . D ., ATC , director of Auburn University ’ s Warrior Research Center , associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Neuromechanics Research Laboratory in Auburn , Alabama , said in a press release , “ Athletic trainers have been working with this population , especially military service members , for decades . We work with all the military branches , from the military academies to recruits to Special Forces . Implementing a sports medicine model of injury prevention and treatment to improve performance is vital and has been proven effective .”
Stasia Burroughs , MEd , ATC , CSCS , Warrior Athletic Training Clinical Coordinator , with WAT students early in the morning . / Photo by Renee Fernandes / NATA
Lt . Col . Todd Burkhardt , Ph . D ., co-guest editor and director and professor of military science for Army ROTC , Indiana University , Bloomington , Indiana , also said in the release , “ As members of the military , our goal is to succeed in a complex and uncertain environment . Our tactical athletes need to be physically ready for the rigors of their profession and athletic trainers are an essential component of facilitating this .”
Of particular note in the issue is an epidemiological study on musculoskeletal injuries in Air Force basic military trainees between 2012 and 2014 , and a meta-analysis which examined whether lower extremity muscle strengthening should or should not be part of Military Knee Overuse Injury-Prevention Programs .
Each year more than 800,000 military service members are injured , with the most common location of these injuries being the lower extremities . These injuries lead to trainees graduating late or being discharged as well as to more military service members on limited duty . ( Source : Department of Defense )
Musculoskeletal Injuries in Basic Training
Nathaniel S . Nye . M . D ., CAQSM , lead author and Major , United States Air Force , Medical Corps , 559th Medical Group , Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland , Texas . and colleagues collected musculoskeletal injury data for U . S . Air Force basic military trainees . They documented both injury incidence as well as the factors and costs associated with them . All data was collected at the U . S . Air Force Basic Military Training , Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland , Texas .
“ Epidemiologic studies are extremely important ,” Nye told OTW . “ This study identifies the true state of the musculoskeletal injury problem we are facing in basic training . It gives us a check point to determine if future interventions ,
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