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Author Topic: Injuries  (Read 1600 times)
aj_law
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« on: Aug 08, 2011 at 12:45 »

Seems like every day I read a different story about this or that player getting injured.

As I feared when the lockout started, I think the offseason "break" these guys got along with the shortened camps and relaxed rules (e.g. no two-a-days) is starting to take its toll across the league.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 08, 2011 at 14:39 »

Seems like there are more Achilles injuries this year than most.  Would that be attributable to conditioning?  Or just bad luck?
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 08, 2011 at 15:25 »

Seems like there are more Achilles injuries this year than most.  Would that be attributable to conditioning?  Or just bad luck?

Achilles was the first to use a performance-enhancing supplement.
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Preacherman0
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 08, 2011 at 23:17 »

Heard a report today that Achilles injuries are considered to be related to conditioning.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 09, 2011 at 09:15 »

Heard a report today that Achilles injuries are considered to be related to conditioning.

I mean, I've heard that too, but it seems more related to stretching than to conditioning.  If you're working out the legs, your Achilles and calves can become tight, and that's when injury can happen.  But if you're stretching out before and after, hitting the ice bath, etc., seems like those tendons would be more supple. 

But WTF do I know.
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aj_law
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 09, 2011 at 10:16 »

IMO, when their training regimen is affected like it has been this year, players become much more susceptible to various soft tissue injuries. 

Making sure players are stretching properly is only a part of it.  Their bodies need to get "used to" (for a lack of a better way of putting it) the wear and tear of the NFL; the contact; drills; movements; physical strain; etc.  This year, they went from zero to 100 overnight.  They're not used to that.  The rookies definitely aren't used to that.

My $0.02.

I think it'll take an extra month and change for most to get up to speed.  Hopefully, a third of the team isn't IR'd in the meantime.
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scballersc
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 09, 2011 at 12:26 »

I think the Achilles injury generally mystifies even the best doctors and there are differing opinions on the causes/preventative treatments of Achilles tears.  I've been told that it is generally, a completely random injury.  I have also heard that it is more likely to occur in older, overweight individuals (which sounds like a contradiction to me).

There is another story out there about an Olympic athlete that partially tore his achilles.  When the doctors refused to perform surgery on the tendon, the athlete proceeded to attempt to tear the tendon straight through so that the doctors would consider operating (I have no idea what that might entail, but I can only imagine explosive movements out of a three/four-point/sprinters stance).  Upon re-examination, the tendon was completely healed and actually stronger (or larger) than it had previously been.   

There has also been more recent research that indicates that stretching may actually weaken muscles/tendons and increase the body's susceptibility to injury.  Case in point, bodybuilders do not stretch their legs before squats, resistances training, etc.  And there has been a movement away from more traditional aerobic stretching and an emphasis on plyometric movements.

So I guess my point is, no one can say for sure when it comes to the Achilles.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 09, 2011 at 12:52 »

My best guess is that players did try to stay in shape during the lockout, but what did that entail?  Most guys did a weight-heavy regimen to add muscle or retain muscle, and maybe a little perfunctory treadmill work.  Maybe some of the skills guys included longer running sessions.  Point is, their leg muscles are bulked, tight, and not used to field work (running, cutting, planting, turning), since most guys don't emphasize flexibility so much as raw strength. 

That being so, it probably takes longer for the muscles and tendons to loosen up and adapt.  Just jumping in with the standard stretch session may not be enough when you're in drills and making a swift cut to avoid a hit and *BAM*, there she goes.  Players, coaches, they all want to hit the field and make up for lost time, and I can see where this happens.

So it's not a lack of conditioning per se, but the kind of conditioning and lack of flexibility and looseness.

Bodybuilders, by comparison, are utilizing more linear movements, rather than exerting torque in 3-D. 

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 09, 2011 at 13:01 »

Oh, one last point. 

I'm finishing up two longish books (Cryptonomicon, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA) that weigh in at a combined 1500+ flippin' pages, so my next two books are necessarily gonna be light and fluffy:  Just Kids (Patti Smith), and Born to Run.  Skimming BtR, the author makes the point that humans evolved as long distance runners.  Sure, the wolves and big cats and various prey animals can run faster for short distances, but there are various physiological elements that allow humans to keep running mile after mile until their prey is exhausted.

One signature is our Achilles, which is not present or well developed in other species, the strongest tendon in the body.  Think of the Achilles as being a big spring that works with the calf.  In NFLers, those calves are super-developed, and the punishment dealt to the foot area in every imaginable way (to gain speed and power) pushes the Achilles beyond what it was designed to do.  If the Achilles is tight, or rather the calf-Achilles mechanism isn't stretched, then that makes it more prone to a snap.

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pensodyssey
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 09, 2011 at 13:45 »

Just Kids is great.
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