American journal of sports medicine vol:17 issue:5 pages:612-619
A 1 year prospective study was done to develop an accident-prone and overuse-prone profile of young athletes. A group of 185 freshman physical education students (118 males; 67 females of the same age (18.3 +/- 0.5 years) trained under the same conditions and were exposed to similar extrinsic risk factors. Using a descriptive statistical technique, an analysis of correspondence, the complex interrelation between the criterium variables (acute injuries and overuse injuries) and the predictor variables (intrinsic risk factors; physical characteristics--anthropometric data, physical fitness parameters, flexibility aspects and malalignment of the lower extremities; and psychological factors--16 personality traits) was estimated for males and females separately. Although dynamic strength seems to be an important risk factor in acute injuries, sports accidents must be seen in relation to psychological factors. However, the overuse-prone profile is mainly based on physical traits: a combination of muscle weakness, ligamentous laxity, and muscle tightness predisposes to stress injuries. In addition, these overuse effects are intensified by large body weight and length, a high explosive strength, and malalignment of the lower limbs. Nevertheless, it has to be kept in mind that psychosomatic factors play a role in how one experiences these overuse phenomena.