Preventing Injuries in the Most Popular Sport

October 21, 2014 by NATA Admin

By John Doherty, ATC, PT

Baseball, basketball and football may be our three biggest spectator sports. Beyond filling stadiums and arenas, they have plenty of participants at the youth and high school levels.
Despite their popularity, these sports are far outdone by another in terms of participation. Furthermore, without this sport’s most fundamental aspect, the other three wouldn’t be possible at all; for where would those “big three” spectator sports be without running?
“Most of us begin [running] by the age of three … with many of us never stopping, as evidenced by the more than 35 million people in the United States who run for exercise or sport,” writes physical therapist Bryan Heiderscheit in the latest edition of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT). And all those runners get hurt – more often than you may think.
For that reason, the entire October issue of JOSPT is devoted to running injuries: why they happen, how to prevent them, how to recover from them, how to return to running once the injury has healed, and even how to get faster. In addition to Heiderscheit’s lead editorial, the special issue also offers other commentaries, each from the unique perspective of a runner (1968 Boston Marathon winner and Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot), a coach (University of Wisconsin track and field coach Mick Byrne) and a team physician (University of Virginia team physician Bob Wilder, MD).
Read the expanded version of this column in The Times, and read about the latest related research and clinical news -- ranging from ankle sprains and range of motion biomechanics to pediatric overuse injuries -- in the Journal of Athletic Training or the NATA press archive

John Doherty, ATC, PT, is a certified athletic trainer and physical therapist, as well as NATA Now’s newest contributor. This column reflects solely his opinion. Reach him at jdoherty@comhs.orgor on Twitter at @JDohertyATCPT.

Posted by NATA News Managing Editor Jaimie Siegle (
Photo by Jaimie Siegle / NATA