Date of Award

5-4-2017

Document Type

Thesis

College

Richard W.Riley College of Education

Degree Program

Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance

Degree Name

Master of Science

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Alice McLaine

Committee Member

Laura Carrell

Abstract

Both the number of recreational and competitive runners and the number of injuries have increased over the past decade. Track and field includes a variety of events, which differ in volume and intensity. The variability of the sport causes both chronic and acute injuries. Although chronic injuries are most prevalent, muscular strains are the most frequent acute injury (Jacobsson et al., 2011). Muscular strains have accounted for approximately 17% of all track and field injuries (Kluitenberg et al., 2014). A variety of predisposing factors for muscular strains have been described. The purpose of this study was to investigate causative factors for muscular strains such as strength and flexibility deficits, previous injury, and leg dominance and their relationship with injury. The research design used in this investigation included a correlational comparison, to determine if a relationship was present between hip and knee ranges of motion, strength, previous injury, and leg dominance with injury incidence. Twenty male and female collegiate track and field athletes who specialize in a variety of events participated in this study. Subjects completed a pre-participation profile that outlined their demographics, previous injury history, and training protocols. Following a stationary bike warm-up, the participants’ ranges of motion were measured with a goniometer. The subjects completed a familiarization period for the isokinetic strength testing. Their peak torques per body weight values was obtained using the Biodex System 3 dynamometer. Three different velocities were incorporated to assess concentric/concentric hip flexion and extension as well as eccentric/concentric knee extension and flexion. The subjects’ injuries were then recorded throughout training and competition during their indoor track and field season. ii The results displayed a significant negative correlation between peak torque per body weight and injury for right hip extension at 300 degrees per second. These results suggested that decreased hip extension strength, at a faster speed, may predispose an individual to injury. None of the other velocities or motions at the knee or hip showed significant values. A significant negative correlation between injury and range of motion for left hip extension indicated that decreased hip extension range of motion may lead to injury. However, the other ranges of motion obtained at the hip and knee did not produce significant values. There was a strong, significant correlation between previous injury and re-injury, suggesting that there is an increased risk for injury if an individual experienced a previous injury. Leg dominance did not show a significant correlation. A larger sample size and longer injury recording period could influence results. The results suggest that stretching and strengthening protocols could be beneficial in reducing injury incidence.

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