NEUROMECHANICAL LOAD OF BIOLOGICAL TISSUE AND INJURY IN GYMNASTICS

  • G. Brueggemann
Keywords: mechanical loading, morphological adaptation, injury

Abstract

Biomechanical and biological factors related to the performance enhancement in gymnastics indicate that the potential of the neuro-musculoskeletal system seems to be close to or even at the ultimate tolerance limits. Acute and chronic severe tissue injuries are frequently reported from male and female gymnasts. In general mechanical loading of the musculoskeletal system is a prerequisite for morphological and functional adaptation of biological material. But if stress and strain increase to a certain level and exceed the mechanical limits of the individual structure, mechanical loading may lead to tissue damage. Young gymnasts have been shown to be particularly prone to overuse injuries, as their musculoskeletal system is still immature. One of the most serious overuse problems for young athletes is the development of abnormal radiological signs in the lumbar spine and the thoracic-lumbar transition. Research on biological load and injury in gymnastics indicated that tissue abnormalities, chronic injuries and acute tissue damage are related to mechanical load, the technical devices and apparatus; as well as, neuromuscular performance, muscular strength and technique.