Dynamic Arts - Injury

Probably the most important aspect of leaping about on concrete is realising limitations to avoid injury, and also being aware of what injuries various age groups are susceptible to.

So far, the most common injuries appear to have been lower back, knee and ankle related, but many others have driven parts beyond their injury point.

I would like to recommend to you the following book. It's not cheap, but it's a goodun. Most of the information on this page is derived from it.

Sports Injuries: Their Prevention and Treatment by Lars Peterson and Per Renstrom

Starting advice

In general, if it hurts, rest. If you have rested for a day or so and it still hurts, go to the doctor. If lots of things hurt, get wiser. Read more. Think more. Jump less.

Do I, personally, follow this advice? Er, no, but I wish I did.

So, from the bottom up:

Ankles

Poor landings first impinge upon the ankles, either by twisting or compression. Unfortunately the ankle is rather too complex to pin down injuries from a web page. Better to go to the doctor.

Knees

The three most common knee problems are runner's knee, jumper's knee and Osgood Schlatter disease.

Runner's knee (iliotibial band friction syndrome) occurs on the outer side of the knee roughly level with the top of the kneecap. One of the tendons running down the side of the leg catches against the side of the knee and begins to hurt.

If you get it:

When you start training again

Jumper's knee (patellar tendon overuse injury or patellar tendonosis) occurs, funnily enough in people who jump a lot. It is an injury to the tendon connecting the kneecap to the lower leg.

If you get it:

Osgood-Schlatter disease (traction tendinitis of the distal patellar tendon) is common in adolescents and rare in older athletes. It occurs at the point where the tendon below the kneecap joins to the lower leg just beneath the knee. Possibly caused by repeated micro-fracturing of the cartilage/bone join.

To test if you've got it, sit on a chair and try and straighten your leg while someone gently hold your foot down. If it hurts just below the knee, you might well have it.

If you get it:

Lower back

As I've been having lower spine problems for the last few months, this is currently my favourite topic.

If you're getting shooting pains down your leg, you've most likely got a problem with the nerves that transmit signals to the brain, but fortunately not the ones that tell your leg how to move.

The problem at the lowest spinal joint is know as S1 syndrome. This joint is between the 1st Sacral vertebra (S1) and the lowest, or 5th Lumbar vertebra (L5). S1 syndrome is typified by pain running down the back of the leg to the small toe on either side, or rarer, on both sides. The next joint up, between L5 and L4 is known as L5 syndrome. L5 pain radiates down the side of the leg of the big toe. L4 syndrome radiates down the side and front of the leg to the knee.

If you've got back problems, the doctor and physiotherapist are your best buddies.