Many injuries result from mechanical overload or load vs capacity.

Mechanical overload is when the forces applied (through the muscles, bones, tendons and joints) exceeds the capacity of those structures to tolerate the load. This can result in inflammation, breakdown and injury.

Some people get frustrated when they get injured, or get a scan showing degenerative results. Scan results such as cartilage degeneration (arthritis), tendinopathies, or spinal disc injuries can be disheartening to discover. Once injuries occur or degenerative results diagnosed we are often are told to avoid activities such as squatting, lifting, walking etc.

Reduced load results in reduced capacity

Unfortunately, reducing load (or over-protecting an injury) leads to reduced load capacity, lowered strength and further degeneration. A better idea is to have a carefully managed and graded exposure to load (through resistance training/exercise) whilst monitoring symptoms in an effort to increase strength, muscles and the capacity of the body’s tissues. Monitoring load vs capacity doesn’t mean you have to stop doing activities, it means doing these activities in a safe way to get you back to full strength sooner.

The human body is adaptable

The beauty of the human body is that it is ADAPTABLE, therefore, if we load these structures carefully, consistently, and following the principles of strength-training, we can adapt.  Ensuring we can adapt we can return to long walks, squatting, lifting, or whatever movement may have caused the injury in the first place.

Fear avoidance is not the answer

Fear avoidance is never the answer! Seeing a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist at MD Health who can modify your activity, assess your load vs capacity and gradually increase your tolerance to aggravating activities via strength training is important to helping build a strong, resilient body.

Want to know more?

If you want more information regarding this article or would like to book for a FREE full body assessment with one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists, call us on 9857 0644 or email us at admin@md-health.com.au

 

Load vs Capacity: the good and the debatable

The general idea behind Load vs Capacity is pretty simple: All tissues have a certain capacity and if the mechanical load applied to those tissues is greater than their capacity, there is a higher risk of pain or injury. This is likely dose dependent.

 

Author: Will Ryan

Will grew up in Wagga Wagga, NSW, before moving to Albury to study physiotherapy at Charles Sturt University. He has previously worked as a gym attendant and Pool Lifeguard at the Kapooka Army Base near Wagga, and has also had experience in sports training with Jindera and Mangoplah Football Clubs. He is a die-hard Collingwood supporter, currently plays mixed netball and goes waterskiing in the summer. Will has a special interest in the progression from rehabilitating injuries to returning to full function and injury prevention, utilising Strength and Conditioning principles into his programming. Will has completed several courses around this area, including strength and conditioning, spinal and sports physiotherapy courses. He is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at La Trobe University.

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