PainSci summary of Brushøj 2008?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
A thousand soldiers in basic training were studied to determine whether or not an exercise program could “reduce the incidence of overuse knee injuries and medial tibial stress syndrome [shin splints].” Half participated in an exercise program consisting of stretching, strengthening or coordination exercises, and their injury rates were compared the other half that did nothing.
There were fifty injuries among those who exercised to prevent injury, but only forty-eight among those who did nothing. The researchers reasonably concluded that classic injury prevention exercises — all standard prescriptions for athletes — “did not influence the risk” of injury.
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether an exercise program can prevent overuse injuries in the lower extremity. An often encountered and important risk factor for the development of lower extremity overuse injuries is an abrupt increase in activity level. HYPOTHESIS: A preventive training program based on a literature review of intrinsic risk factors, and performed concurrent with an increase in physical activity, can reduce the incidence of overuse knee injuries and medial tibial stress syndrome, as well as increase running distance.
STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.
METHODS: A total of 1020 soldiers aged 20.9 years (range, 19-26 years) undergoing 3 months of basic military training consecutively enrolled from December 2004 to December 2005. The prevention program consisted of an exercise program of 15 minutes' duration 3 times a week, including 5 exercises for strength, flexibility, and coordination; the placebo program consisted of 5 exercises for the upper body.
RESULTS: During the observation period, 223 subjects sustained an injury, with 50 and 48 of these fulfilling the study criteria for overuse knee injuries or medial tibial stress syndrome, respectively. There were no significant differences in incidence of injury between the prevention group and the placebo group (incidence, 0.22 vs 0.19; P = .162; relative risk = 1.05 [range, 0.98-1.11]). The soldiers in the prevention group had the greater improvement in running distance in 12-minute run tests (82 vs 43 m; P = .037).
CONCLUSION: An exercise program with an emphasis on muscular strengthening, coordination, and flexibility based on intrinsic risk factors identified through a literature review did not influence the risk of developing overuse knee injuries or medial tibial stress syndrome in subjects undergoing an increase in physical activity. The program increased maximal running distance in a 12-minute test.
These seven articles on PainScience.com cite Brushøj 2008 as a source:
- Quite a Stretch — Stretching science has shown that this extremely popular form of exercise has almost no measurable benefits
- Save Yourself from IT Band Syndrome! — All your treatment options for Iliotibial Band Syndrome reviewed in great detail, with clear explanations of recent scientific research supporting every key point
- Save Yourself from Shin Splints! — Causes and treatment options for shin splints explained and discussed in great detail, especially shin pain caused by myofascial trigger points, compartment syndrome, medial tibial stress syndrome, and stress fracture
- Save Yourself from Muscle Strain! — Muscle strain (pulled muscle) and muscle pain explained and discussed in great detail, plus every imaginable treatment option
- Strength Training for Pain & Injury Rehab — Why building muscle is easier, better, and more important than you thought, and its role in recovering from injuries and chronic pain
- Does Hip Strengthening Work for IT Band Syndrome? — The popular “weak hips” theory is itself weak
- IT Band Stretching Does Not Work — Stretching the iliotibial band is a popular idea, but it’s very hard to do it right, and it’s probably not worth it
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.