Quantification of Load and Lower Limb Injury in Men’s Professional Basketball.
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Lower limb injuries are a significant issue in basketball and load has been implicated as a causative factor. The quantification of the training load-injury relationship requires the implementation of effective injury and load monitoring. To set up an effective monitoring system, the efficacy of the methodologies and metrics must first be established. The aim of this thesis was to quantify training load and injuries in professional men’s basketball and investigate the relationship between training load and lower limb injuries. Overuse injuries and load were quantified in professional men’s basketball through the use of wearable technology (inertial sensors) and a recently developed overuse injury questionnaire. The magnitude and prevalence of common overuse injuries (ankle, knee, low back) was determined using a self-reporting overuse injury questionnaire. This questionnaire captured many more overuse injuries than standard reporting methods. The prevalence of ankle, knee, and lower back overuse injuries was 13%, 24%, and 26%, respectively (Chapter 4). Lower limb loading was quantified by first monitoring the counts of impacts at low, moderate, and high intensities using wearable accelerometers. Then we incorporated the counts of impacts into an adapted tissue load metric to better quantify external, or mechanical, bilateral lower limb loads (Chapter 5). Findings indicated similar team mean bilateral lower limb load/min between limbs, with variability in the data between individuals and limbs. For several players this load/min metric presented a different picture of load magnitude and symmetry compared to the steps/min measure. Lastly, we investigated the relationship between load and injury. To accomplish this, we first quantified internal load using the session-RPE (session-rate of perceived exertion) method and and examined the relationship between this and injury (Chapter 6). The results determined that maintaining acute:chronic workload ratios between 1-1.5 may be optimal for reducing injury in professional basketball players. To further investigate the relationship between load and injury, several methods for quantifying lower limb loads (overuse injury questionnaire, wearable accelerometers, and 3D motion capture) were evaluated together as part of a knee-injury case study. The combination of all three metrics provided the most informative picture of the relationship between load and injury (Chapter 7). This thesis demonstrated novel methods for quantifying lower limb loads and injury which can be used for effective monitoring in professional basketball. The objective data collected through the application of these methods may provide beneficial information to help guide best practices with respect to training load, injuries, rehabilitation, and performance outcomes.
Keywordslower limb; basketball; athlete monitoring; injury