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Prevention and Rehabilitation of Musculoskeletal Injuries During Military Operations and Training

Zambraski, Edward J.; Yancosek, Kathleen E.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue - p S101–S106
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31822e7721
Brief Review

Zambraski, EJ and Yancosek, KE. Prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries during military operations and training. J Strength Cond Res 26(7): S101–S106, 2012—Injuries are a major impacting factor for a military organization. Injuries may be the result of direct combat, or noncombat, and may be incurred during deployment, other military operations and training. The impact of injuries is the loss of manpower (e.g., lost duty days), medical costs for treatment, and the influence that an injury may have on an individual's quality of life. To address this issue, it is essential to understand the types of injuries that are occurring, and the mechanisms responsible for those injuries, to develop strategies to reduce injury incidence and to allocate the resources required for rehabilitation to return the individual to duty. This article will review the most common medical injury being incurred by our present warfighter; namely, musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs). The number, types, and causal mechanisms of MSIs will be reviewed. Risk factors for MSIs will be identified and the various interventions being used to prevent or mitigate the severity of MSIs will be discussed. Lastly, the programs that have been developed within the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army for the assessment, care, and rehabilitation of the most severe MSIs incurred while deployed will be described.

Military Performance Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Massachusetts

Address correspondence to Edward J. Zambraski,

Copyright © 2012 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.