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Lower Extremity Injuries: Know the Risks

It's been estimated that sports-related injuries cost up to $1 billion annually worldwide. In the U.S. alone, between 3 million and 5 million sports-related injuries occur each year; most are injuries to the ankle, knee and lower leg - a region generally termed the "lower extremity."

So, what increases the risk of suffering a lower extremity injury, and how can you prevent or reduce the risk of getting hurt?

Researchers in Vermont set out to answer these questions by reviewing several previous studies, and found approximately 20 factors that can contribute to lower extremity injuries.

Among the most common factors are: age; history of previous injury; body size (including the size of a person's limb); muscle strength; the type of shoe being used while performing an activity; whether the person is using any type of ankle wrap or bracing; and playing surface. All of these factors can determine, positively or negatively, the degree to which a person might sustain a lower extremity injury while playing sports.

Few practitioners know how to diagnose and treat lower extremity injuries better than a doctor of chiropractic. If you suspect you have an injury, or if you're involved in an organized sport or other type of regular physical activity, and want more information on preventing these types of injuries from occurring, schedule an appointment with a DC. You chiropractor can create an exercise plan that maximizes your fitness level while minimizing the risk of injury.

For more information on exercise and physical fitness, go to


Gerr F, Marcus M, Ensor C, et al. A prospective study of computer users: I. Study design and incidence of musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 2002:41(4), pp. 221-235.


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