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  • Writer's pictureAndy Fortuna

Why Injuries Happen and How to Avoid Setbacks

So you have had some injuries in the past that kept you from staying active or maybe you're dealing with nagging issues right now and you’re not sure why. You’re not alone and keep reading to learn why and how to avoid these setbacks.

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The human body is a complex and very resilient organism with a few basic essential needs to be healthy: nutrient food, proper exercise, quality sleep, and mental wellness.. But our lifestyle, habits, and choices have a great influence in the fulfillment of these essentials and ultimately, our health.

To help you understand the basic cause of injury you need to understand 3 terms: Load, Capacity, and Threshold.

Load is the external force or stress

Capacity is the ability to withstand load without breaking down

Threshold is the limit before pain, injury, and break down

The reason why injuries happen comes down to the application of these three terms in the following instances: Trauma, Deficiency, and Excess.

Trauma is one significant event that overwhelms the body and leads to injury. For example, dropping a weight on your toe (OUCH!) or spraining your ankle in a pick-up basketball game. The event (a.k.a load) has exceeded the capacity and threshold of your body leading to injury.

This is instance is usually uncontrollable and simply part of the risk in participating in physical activity.

Deficiency is the body's lack of quality performance and resilience to stress.

For example, you have had little to no physical activity in the last 3-6 months, which has reduced the strength and mobility of your tendons and joints. So when you try to jump back into physical activity, 3 days into it you get injured or start to experience pain. In this case, the body's exposure to load has been low and has greatly reduced its capacity, creating a discrepancy between what your body can handle and what you're trying to get back to.

Basically, you have done too little for too long and your body has adapted to the lack of activity. So, what you don’t use, you lose.

Excess is the overactivity and lack of moderation leading to overuse and degeneration.

For example, on top of working long hours you have been going full throttle 5-7 days a week with strength training, running, and cycling with little to no recovery or rest. This amount of demand has unfortunately led to tendonitis in your knee. Your training and life demands (a.k.a load) have exceeded your body's current capacity and threshold, and over time has caused an overuse injury.

In short, you have done too much too soon, and your body is wearing down.

Now, most of these instances of when injuries occur can be greatly reduced by implementing a consistent ,effective, and balanced training program or learning to modify your current program.. Overall, you need to prioritize fulfilling the essentials , as mentioned earlier, to build resilience and optimal performance.

Strong and healthy body = resilience and sustainability

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