$$\require{cancel}$$

9.8: Preventing Injuries

Options for Injury prevention

We have learned that some injuries result from large forces between body parts or on the body from other objects. Those forces are associated with large accelerations caused either by interaction with moving objects (cars, soccer balls) or large accelerations generated during locomotion. There are of course injuries caused by large forces in the absence of acceleration, such as crushing injuries, and those types of injuries can be analyzed using concepts of equilibrium, stress, and strain. However, large accelerations are the hallmark of non-equilibrium injuries, such as those discussed in this unit. Therefore, we can prevent non-equilibrium injuries by:

1. Increasing the ultimate strength of body tissues so that they can handle larger stress and thus larger force.
2. Increasing the cross-sectional area of body parts so that the stress remains below the tissue’s ultimate strength, even for larger forces.
3. Decrease the size of accelerations, and thus forces and resulting stress, experienced by the body.

The first two options are controlled by genetics and regular exposure to large, but not injury inducing forces, also known as exercise.[1] The next few chapters will focus on the third option, which is achieved by good choices, thoughtful movement, and technology.

A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: openoregon.pressbooks.pub/bodyphysics/?p=2022

The headrest doesn’t necessarily reduce the acceleration felt by the head as much as provide the force needed to accelerate the head along with the body, thus reducing the forces between the head and neck.

1. Carlson, K. J., & Marchi, D. (2014). Reconstructing Mobility. New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4899-7460-0