Home > Uncategorized > Is there a link between musculoskeletal injury risk and neurocognitive function?

Is there a link between musculoskeletal injury risk and neurocognitive function?

Over the last few years research has showed an association between neurocognitive test scores and lower extremity musculoskeletal injury risk.  Specifically, decreased neurocognitive scores were observed in those individuals who had suffered lower extremity injury.  These studies have sparked discussion within the research community to better understand the potential relationship between neurocognitive function and lower extremity injury risk.  It is theorized that decreased neurocognitive function may result in poor spatial awareness, slower reaction time, and altered decision making which may facilitate an elevated injury risk.

At this point a cause and effect relationship cannot be established between neurocognitive function and lower extremity injury risk as there is still more research required to better understand this relationship.  However, the current data do suggest that neurocognitive function may be a factor to consider when assessing an individual’s overall injury risk profile.  This information should be along with other data that have also been shown to be related to injury risk, such as movement efficiency, prior injury history, and body mass index.  In addition, neurocognitive function may also be a factor to consider in the rehabilitation and  return to play decision making process, especially in cases of traumatic injury that have resulted in significant time loss.

An overview of the current research examining the relationship between neurocognitive function and musculoskeletal injury can be found at:

http://lowerextremityreview.com/news/in-the-moment-sports-medicine/brains-and-sprains-is-there-an-extremity-concussion-link

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