Home > Uncategorized > Pre-Season Lockout and Increased Risk of Achilles Tendon Injury

Pre-Season Lockout and Increased Risk of Achilles Tendon Injury

In an editorial written in the Journal of Orthopaedic Sport and Physical Therapy, there was a reported increase in Achilles Tendon injuries in NFL camps this year following the NFL lockout. Typically, the NFL pre-season training periods are spread out over 14 weeks; however, given the NFL lockout the pre-season training periods were reduced to approximately 17 days prior to starting pre-season competitive games.  During the pre-season training and games there were a large number of Achilles Tendon injuries/ruptures reported during this period.  It is suggested that the shortened pre-season training period may have been a major factor leading to the increased number of Achilles Tendon injuries/ruptures.

This information may be particularly relevant considering the shortened pre-season for the NBA athlete this coming year.  While the NBA athlete may has the ability to participate in more game like training compared to an NFL athlete, there is potentially a similar increased risk of injury for the NBA athlete given the shortened training period.  Perhaps more than ever the importance of pre-season screening and corrective exercise training should be emphasized to try and minimize the risk of similar injury trends.

The link below is to an overview posted on this topic.

http://www.lowerextremityreview.com/news/in-the-moment-sports-medicine/lockout-lessons-nfl-achilles-injuries-spark-debate

The abstract below is from the J Orthop and Sports Phys Ther editorial that was published on this topic.

ABSTRACT:

Over the past few months we have been afforded a unique opportunity to evaluate injury rate data prior to, during, and following the historical aberration created by the recent National Football League (NFL) Lockout. During this period (March 11th to July 25th, 2011), professional football players underwent an uncommon offseason, without the normal access to their team’s healthcare providers, strength and conditioning professionals, and high-level coaches. With limited access to these professionals and an absence of the structured preseason preparatory conditioning normally progressed over a 14-week period between May and July, we had a unique window of opportunity to evaluate the effects of an alarmingly rapid transition from the start of training camp, which took place 2 days after the end of the Lockout, to the initiation of preseason competition. A glimpse at early data, limited to Achilles tendon injuries, is cause for concern due to an unprecedented number of Achilles tendon ruptures in training camp and the beginning of preseason.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2011;41(10):702-705. doi:10.2519/jospt.2011.0107

 

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