We’re all more or less familiar with the types of injuries that have happened to all of us and that may occur. Sometimes we may be worried about getting injuries, and sometimes we may be afraid of not being able to return to sport after being injured. In fact, it is very easy, and with the folllowing important information you can prevent injuries, treat them early and increase the pleasure of racing. Recent studies have focused on investigating the mechanisms and causes of injury in triathlon.

Carolyn Kienstra et al. showed that there is no relationship between epidemiology and musculoskeletal injuries in Ironman racers, however there is a relationship between training intensity and injuries.

In the scientific study of Migliorini, it was shown that insufficient muscle flexibility, insufficient running endurance and insufficient training knowledge are also factors in injuries when former swimmers and cyclists start triathlon. It is known that most injuries occur during the transition from cycling to running. It has been determined that mechanical lower back pain and knee injuries are generally more common. 

Most triathlon injuries are due to joint overuse. Overuse injuries can be internal or external (anatomical structure, training surface, floor, materials, shoes and training equipment, transitions between disciplines).

In addition to these factors, the most important factor that athletes don’t know is the full recovery practices that every triathlete must use. 

Master Physiotherapist Deniz Alkan

However, the most common error recovery programs should be implemented in a chain. Recovery applications consist of important sub-parts. After each training session and race, all of them should be applied one by one. e.g. Application with a foam roller alone is not sufficient for the recovery phase. The full application of this recovery chain can be learned by consulting professional sports physiotherapists. Continuous and regular application is essential.

In these type of athletes, calisthenic exercises, which have developed in recent years, have a great place among the sports-specific fitness training that should be done seperately from training.

According to the study of Lorimer et al. in 2018, lower extremity (ankle, hip, knee) joint stiffness can be measured in the body of triathletes. This is important in terms of kinetics and kinematics in determining the risk of a disability.

For the therapy of stiffness mentioned in this study, fascial stretching therapy methods, together with sports physiotherapy methods, should be added at the end of the training and applied regularly.

Knowledge is power. If the information learned is applied correctly and regularly, you can continue on the road with confidence. As part of lifelong learning, this new knowledge significantly prevents injury in triathletes, cyclist and swimmers. In addition, if you detect the body signals that will stop you continuing the training or the race, if you apply the treatment at the right time / if you complete your therapies, permanent damage will be eliminated.

Physical injury mechanisms in triathletes can be mild tissue damage/muscle-joint injuries or severe bone-muscle-joint injuries. Regardless, the right approaches in an early application are important for the future.

We will talk about the biomechanical foundations of triathletes, one by one, in our upcoming articles.

Master Physiotherapist Deniz Alkan

Resources:

1-) Migliorini S. Risk factors and injury mechanism in Triathlon. J. Hum. SportExerc. Vol. 6, no. 2, 2011, University of Alicante

2-) Carolyn Kienstra; Tristen Asken; Jennifer Garcia; Vanessa Lara; Thomas Best; “Triathlon Injuries: Transitioning from Prevalence to Prediction and Prevention” Current Sports Medicine Reports. 16(6):397–403, 2017

3-) Lorimer AV, Keogh JWL, Hume PA “Using stiffness to assess injury risk: comparison of methods for quantifying stiffness and their reliability in triathletes” PeerJ. 2018 Oct 30;6:e5845. 

Deniz Alkan
Master Physiotherapist | Website

Having graduated from Hacettepe University in 2000, MSc. PT. Deniz Alkan has been actively working on everything regarding physiotherapy for over 20 years. In particular, the training of healthy life coaching in sports physiotherapy studies. The ability to use test and exercise systems, which are rare in Turkey, and the organising of many specific training courses can be applied. Research on sports are continuing with all manner of interest, and love. Deniz, from Antalya, is also an open water swimmer who crossed the strait in the Intercontinental Bosphorus swimming race. She is currently working as a consultant physiotherapist with the Turkish Ministry of Health.

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