During Dr. Anna’s eight years of service in the Army, she gained valuable experience and perspective in tactical-fitness exercise. This type of training is not only involved in the military, but also in many other professions such as firefighting, law enforcement, and emergency medicine. These professionals require high-level physical abilities and therefore need high-level medical care to be in their best condition.
Although, this training results in high levels of athleticism, it also leads to over-use injuries, especially of the lower extremities. Often times, these individuals avoid seeking medical help for fear that they will let their team down or lose time and pay. Therefore, several studies have been performed to determine the cause of these injuries and most importantly what can be done to prevent them. The Tactical Athlete Research and Education Center at Indiana State University found that functional training (wearing the person’s equipment during exercise) can improve mobility, strength, and balance which prevent injuries due to fatigue while working. A study performed at an Army airborne unit found that by varying the type of workout daily has been found to improve these abilities and prevent injury. US Army researchers have reported in 2016 a lower risk of injury with improved BMI (body mass index), with a BMI goal of 21 to 23.
Tactical training or “boot camp” training has also become a popular workout among the general public. To help these athletes maximize their workout and prevent injuries, Dr. Anna recommends incorporating high-intensity interval training and alternating the type of workout daily. This could include lower extremity weight training, upper extremity weight training, cardio, bodyweight exercises, band work, isometrics, and TRX. (This also helps prevent boredom!) Dr. Anna advises her patients to seek guidance from personal trainers on exercise technique, stretch all of the large muscle groups after exercise, and warm up and cool down for at least five minutes before and after training. Supportive shoes and custom orthotics are also vital to prevent injury during these intense workouts. If you or a loved one are experiencing chronic pain due to exercise, contact your healthcare provider or our office to determine the appropriate specialist for treatment.