What causes athletes to be injury prone?

Hopefully we have some medical experts on the Board who can explain what causes particular athletes to be injury prone while others are not. In any sport but especially football. Are they more reckless with their body? For example Catalon? Or is it perhaps more than that? Brittle bones? Diet? Lack of quality sleep? IDK but would like to know.
UA…Campus of Champions

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I’m no doctor by any means and I’m not sure there is a right answer for that. I’ve seen players play with absolute reckless abandon and never ever get hurt other than just typical soreness and bruises and things of that nature. Then I’ve seen some who look like Tarzan play the exact same way and we’re always hurt. I think with Catalon this last injury was just a bad break on his part because he didn’t hit anybody he just landed with his arm extended and he either tore his rotator cuff or he’s either got hyper extension or dislocation that supposedly will have him out for the year. I don’t think there’s any way to really tell why some people get injured more than others though, I do know stretching is incredibly important to lengthen and strengthen the muscles and I’m not sure how much of that the players do but it’s probably not enough.

Flexibility matters for sure.

Doesn’t apply here, but I have read that the anatomy of the female knee predisposes women athletes to ACL tears, and you sure see a lot of those.

This doesn’t crop up much (or shouldn’t), but some antibiotics are associated with a much higher incidence of things like Achilles tendon ruptures.

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So true. Don’t know the percentages but I would say women suffer more knee injuries than men.

If someone knew that, they would avoid it, right?

DNA, the genes, baby!

A 1999 study showed the rate of ACL tears in female basketball players was 3.5 times the rate of tears in male hoopsters. I’m sure there are more up-to-date studies now but that’s pretty remarkable. In addition to the anatomy of the female knee, hormones may also play a role; more ACL tears occurred when women were ovulating than at other times in the menstrual cycle…

Except for types of things described elsewhere in this thread, I doubt any football player is particularly “injury prone.” If someone has an undiagnosed condition, they can be, but I bet most of what we’re calling “injury prone” is nothing more than one player having more bad luck than another one. Football careers are so short, it often doesn’t take but a couple of injuries to end a career.

A friend contracted german measles as a child. Created “loose joints” and she was forever having dislocations. Over time, she learned to pop them back into place and go on with life. A series of doctors said it was the by-product of GM. Double-jointed may not be a real thing, I’m not sure, but I know people who were supposedly double-jointed and they were forever having difficulties with sprains and strains.

While not likely a factor at a major school like UA, incorrect technique doing weightlifting can lead to injuries that you would think the lifting would decrease. In fact, the lifts executed contribute to limited mobility and over-developed muscles throw joints out of balance.

I need a doctor to probably explain the above, but the common sense example I was told by a physical therapist: guys who only do bench press but not back exercises eventually have their shoulders bow inward. Their pectorals look amazing, but they are actually vulnerable to back injuries and have really bad posture.

When I played football in the 50’s few players had knee braces. But frankly the players now have bodies that the DNA did not dictate but supplements did. So now virtually all linemen have knee braces. Again in my day the largest player in the NFL weighed 260 pounds, Kids in grade school now weigh that much.

Agree totally of women basketball players having greater chance for a ACL injury. I saw 3 lady’s in one high school season blow out their ACLs doing the Euro Step. 2 of the3 ladies were able to recover and continue playing one at the Div 1 level and one at Div 2 level. Lot of stress on those young knees.

Opportunity due to increased exposure on the playing fields, as well as torques and pressures to joints and muscles that we mere mortals can only imagine.

I have blown my ACL out twice in 3 years…soooo

You and your female knees, Gas…

Size difference across generations is not about supplements.

It is about diet and overall health factors. It is the genetics of our parents. Fewer Americans, fortunately, worry about survival vs. living. My father remembered, and told with a lump in his throat, when he received a Christmas gift (singular) at Christmas and wondering how him mom afforded it. Being well-fed was not a foregone conclusion.

Schools today are apt to providing breakfast and lunch for all students. Those who can’t afford the luxury of a fancy lunch at least get “a lunch.” Many advanced teams (and you wonder why they are advanced) have nutrition programs that rival small colleges. My son’s 6A OK baseball program is told to visit the “athletic nutrition table” at lunch. Eat your lunch, then get a supplemental bag of stuff that would be a good lunch for an impovervished student (fortunately, his school is wise enough to not discriminate - students eat, and then those not on free/reduced meals get a bill to the parents…the kid never knows).

Weight training maxes out what a body can do. Summer training was unheard of until the SEC era, give/take - most athletes had a summer job back home. Weight and fitness training is off the charts in what it can do with the human body. The body is pushed to the limit, and sometimes a weakness is exposed.

Read an article in Sports illustrated years ago that discussed something along these lines. As athletes get bigger and stronger their muscles develop but ligaments and tendons basically remain the same size and are only stabilized against the increased weight by the new musculature. The tendons on a 300lb plus human are the same as for a 150lb human. Whether that is actually true I don’t know. I think it was a DR discussing Bruce Smith’s knee surgery at the time.

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That’s probably because of all the crazy dunks you’ve thrown down on asphalt courts Gas. I’ve always been a below the net player. Which is why I’ve never had a problem with my knees.

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How it was mentioned to me by more than 1 trainer. Extreme weightlifting added with supplements ( even natural legal ones ) contribute to expanding the muscles to a point above what a body was genetically created to withstand.
Why the most gifted & talented athletes had strength & muscle tone naturally. Most lifting they did was isometric using natural body weight. Which also stretches every muscle & joint appropriately creating strength & flexibility.
Men like Jim Brown, Herschel Walker, Wilt Chamberlain to name a few. Even Bo Jackson was naturally super human until freak injury due to too much natural strength & power.

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Yep, that’s the main offender, but any of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics can do it. Others are levofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin and gemifloxacin. Basically, if it ends in -floxacin, it’s probably not a good idea for an athlete to take it.