Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Body's Built-In Computer Helps Recovery From Sports Injury

Date:
October 15, 1998
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Early intervention after a sports injury is essential to re-boot the body's built-in computer, which aids in stabilizing the smallest movements of muscles and joints, says the October issue of the Penn State Sports Medicine Newsletter.

University Park, Pa. -- Early intervention after a sports injury is essential to re-boot the body's built-in computer, which aids in stabilizing the smallest movements of muscles and joints, says the October issue of the Penn State Sports Medicine Newsletter.

The body's computer is made up of proprioceptors, sensory receptors in the joints, tendons and muscles which provide information reinforcing a person's conscious efforts to position and monitor movement of body parts. This internal guidance system helps athletes to perform in sports and above all, to avoid injuries.

When the human body senses a position change, proprioception triggers muscles to contract or relax to fit the situation. Some exercise scientists believe that this activation of reflexes to protect the joints from injury may be as important as the conscious actions taken by athletes to protect themselves.

A sports injury such as a torn ligament or muscle can result in a ruptured nerve which literally causes the body's computer to "crash." As a result, the message that a certain part of the body needs for protection is not delivered. At times, a message gets through, but the information is inaccurate. This breakdown in communication can cause faulty mechanics or sudden loss of coordination, the Penn State Sports Medicine Newsletter says.

The longer the athlete stays out of training after an injury, the harder it is for the body computer to recover. This is why physicians, therapists and trainers emphasize a quick response to injury consisting of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.

When inflammation and swelling are quickly brought under control, damage to the body computer is significantly reduced, and the athlete can soon return to play. Although there is evidence that a lack of proprioceptive response is related to low back and shoulder pain, much of the research on the subject involves the ankle, according to the newsletter.

One study demonstrated that athletes who have suffered ankle sprains were likely to have second and third sprains, even though their ankles were mechanically sound. A second investigation revealed a "proprioceptive deficit" in patients with a history of ankle sprains. The study also found evidence that the more severe the ankle injury, the less able a person is to reproduce certain joint positions.

Regaining proprioception ought to be an essential component of rehabilitation. After strength, flexibility and endurance training, proprioception training should be the next step, even with mild joint injuries treated without medical intervention.

Some examples of proprioception training for the lower part of the body include standing on one leg, using a wobble board (a platform with a rounded base), and trying to maintain balance with an exercise partner pushing from different directions are examples of proprioception re-training.

Closed-chain exercises such as leg presses, squats, vertical jumps, running figure eights and crossover walking are other routines to help you re-establish the connection between nerves and muscles, the Penn State newsletter notes.

Exercises for the upper body are more complex and should be discussed with a physician or therapist. Lower back pain stabilizing exercises and wall pushups against resistance are examples of what might be prescribed. Proprioception re-training practice is usually followed by sport-specific movements to complete the rehabilitation process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Body's Built-In Computer Helps Recovery From Sports Injury." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981015075931.htm>.
Penn State. (1998, October 15). Body's Built-In Computer Helps Recovery From Sports Injury. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981015075931.htm
Penn State. "Body's Built-In Computer Helps Recovery From Sports Injury." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981015075931.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins