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Sports Injuries- Intrinsic and Extrinsic risk factors

Updated on April 19, 2013

Throughout the history of sport there is one thing which has always been a problem to the players or athletes.....that problem is injury. No player will go without injury. At all levels of participation people will get injured whether it's a twisted ankle, or a pulled muscle or even a broken bone everyone who takes part in sport will get injured BUT there are simple things to do to prevent getting injured as much !



The two types of injuries

There are two different types of injuries. These are known as Intrinsic and extrinsic. These two types have two different meanings and different prevention measures which will be discussed below.

Intrinsic injuries and risk factors

Intrinsic injuries

Intrinsic injuries are injuries which are controllable. Controllable means that if you do get injured it is down to yourself and nobody else. In many sports including football injuries are very common and are always under the media spotlight. Over the years we have seen many injuries which are down to the player. Some examples of these injuries are Michael Owens horrible injury in the world cup of 2006. Michael Owen’s injury comes under the category of improper technique. Improper technique is probably the main reason for intrinsic injuries. The injuries which come with improper technique tend to be things like ACL injuries. Two examples of ACL injuries are Nemanja Vidic for Manchester united who went in for a tackle using the wrong technique and ended up falling and twisting open his knee which ended up him being out for a very long period of time.

Being out for a long period of time can be frustrating for players and they can be rushed back into playing by themselves. Another intrinsic risk factor can be returning too early from a previous injury. A prime example for this can be Steven gerrard for Liverpool in the season of 2011/2012 in which he suffered a hamstring and groin injury and was out a long time. Steven gerrard rushed him back into the game because of the period of time in which he was absent. Gerrard then went on to getting injured after a couple of games back with an ankle injury because of bad muscle balance. When having a leg injury of some sort you tend to keep off it which can lead on to your other leg being overused which can either put a lot of strain onto it or lots of muscle which then impacts on your injured leg when it heals because of bad muscle balance.

Past injuries also are classed as an intrinsic risk factor. Past injuries play a big part in future injuries. Experiencing painful or bad injuries will always be in the back of your mind and can influence how you play. Examples of this could be Eduardo Silva who used to play for arsenal and experienced a very bad leg break. During his time out of the game he would have been feeling many psychological things such as anxiety, anger or even fear because he doesn’t know if he will ever is able to play again. Once back from that injury Eduardo may be scared of going into 50/50 challenges again because of his past experiences which was his leg break. This could then lead on to him going into a challenge half-hearted which then most of the time leads on to getting injured somehow.

The last of the intrinsic risk factors is training effects. Training effects basically means how hard and regular you train. Training too hard to try improving your game can sometimes lead on to becoming fatigued and straining your muscles or even exhausting yourself before a game. If you overtrain you become in danger of pulling muscles during games many players have done this such as Fernando Torres who pulled his hamstring due to over training and because of past injuries.

All risk factors somehow link into each other.

Extrinsic injuries and risk factors

Extrinsic

Extrinsic risk factors are injury or harm you have caused to yourself. Extrinsic risk factor can be caused by inappropriate training, improper equipment, inappropriate clothing, inappropriate protective gear and poor technique. Extrinsic risk factors are independent of the injured person and are related to the type of activity during the incident of injury and the manner in which the sport is practiced. Examples of extrinsic factors include weather conditions, footwear and type of sport.

Extrinsic injuries are injuries which are out of your control. Out of control meaning the weather, and other people. The first risk factor which is extrinsic is the weather. The weather is a risk factor because for example if you’re playing football on a grass field the rain can make the turf very uneven and slippery. If the ground is slippery your footing could give way which can lead to a long list of injuries consisting of broken bones, ligament damage and head injuries. Many footballers have had severe injuries due to weather effects on the pitch an example is a French player called cisse who broke his leg because of solid turf.

The second risk factor is your opponent. This is a risk factor because your opponent could be highly aroused or not in the correct frame of mind. In the past players such as Roy keane have been highly aroused and ended up badly fouling people and can end up ending people’s careers. Players which are over aroused or overaggressive tend to end up being sent off because of late challenges or over aggressive challenges.

The third extrinsic factor is coaching. Coaching seems easy enough but if your coach or manager doesn’t coach you correctly this could end up meaning you use the wrong technique and consequently injuring yourself. If the coach doesn’t teach you how to tackle, how to shoot, pass, etc. all these can lead to injuries. Examples could be Owen in the world cup when he used bad technique to pass the ball this could have been coaching or it could have been his own fault never the less Owen ended up with a serious injury and was out for an extended period of time.




Preventing injuries

Preventing injuries

All the above risk factors can be prevented one way or another. Intrinsic risk factors are simple to prevent you should just concentrate on what technique is rite; reflect back on what you learnt on in training. Prevention for the rushing back into playing is doing rush back. Rushing back from an injury is obviously going to cause more damage and you should be patient and work on other areas of your body in training like Michael Owen did when his leg was injured. There isn’t really a prevention for the past injuries part. My advice with experience would be to simply exercise and try strengthening the bone or muscle you previously injured. Over training can be prevented by making a specific and approved exercise plan for yourself who provides you with a decent amount of rest and recovery time.

The prevention of extrinsic risk factors is all down to other people. There will be some sort of guidelines to follow when coaching for example risk assessments and profiling. The coach should gain a greater knowledge of how the players play, where they play and what they prefer to do whether it’s passing, shooting, crossing or tackling. The main reason players get injured I would say is down to poor technique. The opposing player risk factor is and should be prevented by the opposing manager/coach. The manager or coach should assess all players before a game to see if they are fit enough to play physically and mentally not doing so can end up with players such as Roy keane being able to go out onto the pitch and cause career ending injuries on his opponents with the motivation of revenge. With the weather you can’t really do anything. The only preventive measures you can take are having a pitch inspection before the game. Pitch inspections determine whether the pitch is to wet or frozen. The coach should be ready to do all the things I have spoken about to prevent injuries to his players.

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    • markfo profile image

      markfo 5 years ago from Middlesex, England

      Hi James,

      As a 'Pool fan maybe you can explain to me why the club got rid of Peter Bruckner. You had less injuries than any other club last season and sacked the man responsible for such a great record. Manu would die for a fitness record like yours last year.

      Seemed a very shortsighted thing to do to me if it was a money saving exercise.

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 5 years ago

      good points. I think some players have been very careful about the different forms of injuries. When you look at Messi and CR7, they know exactly what they are doing physically and what is coming physically at all times.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Nice informative hub. Be aware that you cannot simply pull images from elsewhere without permission. Especially the carton. If you have permission from the publisher it's great but the arsenal photos likely would cost money to attain usually