The Performance Matrix

Elite Athletes and The Performance Matrix

18th July 2013

Pain management is just not enough


In management of elite sportsmen and women we now know it is not good enough just to get the athlete out of pain.

Performing at top level requires joints, muscles and ligaments to be near the limit of their tolerance. They are continually being subjected to tremendous forces of strain an impact.

Previous injury is a risk factor for injury in many sports. Not only in overuse injuries but also in traumatic injuries such as an ankle sprain. Research shows that muscle training after injuries helps athletes to not only go back to full time training an competition but also to reduce injury recurrence.

By exploring the weak links in movement control of an athlete you can manage more than ‘the obvious’ and retrain the weak links relevant to the athlete’s specific needs.

With The Performance Matrix, the athlete can be screened on his or her ability to control al movement. Not only can the location of a previous injury be investigated but also the whole body is screened so weak links in other body segments will be highlighted.

Don’t go for the obvious, take good care of your athletes and screen and retrain more than just the location of injury.


See this recent article linking previous injury to injury risk

Click below or abstract

Br J Sports Med. 2013 Mar 29.
Injury patterns in Swedish elite athletics: annual incidence, injury types and risk factors.
Jacobsson J, Timpka T, Kowalski J, Nilsson S, Ekberg J, Dahlström O, Renström PA.



To estimate the incidence, type and severity of musculoskeletal injuries in youth and adult elite athletics athletes and to explore risk factors for sustaining injuries.

Prospective cohort study conducted during a 52-week period.

Male and female youth and adult athletics athletes ranked in the top 10 in Sweden (n=292).

199 (68%) athletes reported an injury during the study season. Ninety-six per cent of the reported injuries were non-traumatic (associated with overuse). Most injuries (51%) were severe, causing a period of absence from normal training exceeding 3 weeks. Log-rank tests revealed risk differences with regard to athlete category (p=0.046), recent previous injury (>3 weeks time-loss; p=0.039) and training load rank index (TLRI; p=0.019). Cox proportional hazards regression analyses showed that athletes in the third (HR 1.79; 95% CI 1.54 to 2.78) and fourth TLRI quartiles (HR 1.79; 95% CI 1.16 to 2.74) had almost a twofold increased risk of injury compared with their peers in the first quartile and interaction effects between athlete category and previous injury; youth male athletes with a previous serious injury had more than a fourfold increased risk of injury (HR=4.39; 95% CI 2.20 to 8.77) compared with youth females with no previous injury.

The injury incidence among both youth and adult elite athletics athletes is high. A training load index combing hours and intensity and a history of severe injury the previous year were predictors for injury. Further studies on measures to quantify training content and protocols for safe return to athletics are warranted.


Next time more about injuries in youth sports.

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