It is important to practice injury prevention because injuries, when they occur, directly impact mission readiness. Recovery, resiliency, durability and final outcome of the preventable injury may also impact future mission capability. Primary injuries impacting mission readiness across DoD based on total Days of Limited Duty (DLD) involve: Upper and lower extremity fractures, lower sprains and strains, dislocations and spinal & back injuries. The majority of these injuries did not result in death or hospitalization but rather in Emergency/Urgent Care, Rehabilitation and Loss of Mission.
Physical training and sports injuries are of particular concern. Based on the likelihood of success in decreasing injuries having the greatest impact on military readiness, the Defense Safety Oversight Council (DSOC) recommends that the greatest reduction on lost duty days due to injuries across the DoD may be achieved via mitigation efforts focused specifically on sports and physical training related injuries (DSOC, DOD Military Prevention Priorities Working Group: Leading injuries, cause...Feb 2006). Injuries impose the greatest ongoing negative impact on the health and readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces that any other category of medical complaint during peacetime and combat (AJPM, 2010).
Most injuries listed above are PREVENTABLE. Simple steps to ensure proper fitness are a combination of both intrinsic (within the body) and extrinsic (outside of the body) factors. Intrinsic factors such as: functional movement (anatomical malalignment may cause restrictions), history of prior injury, nutrition, tobacco use, body fat, and low fitness levels, etc. may contribute as well as extrinsic risks factors such as: functional movement (due to training practices), training practices, training surfaces, environment & equipment/protective gear, etc. must all be considered.
For additional resources visit our Injury and Violence Free Living page >>
Explore the external resources below to aid in creating a more resilient and fit military member.
Overview of Prevention
Additional Sports Injuries Resources