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Being able to adapt to variable stimuli: The key driver in injury and illness prevention?

Glasgow, Philip, Bleakley, Christopher M. and Phillips, Nicola 2013. Being able to adapt to variable stimuli: The key driver in injury and illness prevention? British Journal of Sports Medicine 47 , pp. 64-65. 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091960

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The capacity of the human body to adapt and flourish in a wide range of environmental conditions is well recognised. Indeed, it is this ability to effectively adapt physiologically, psychologically and genetically that makes us successful as a species. Significant attention has been given to the long-term adaptation to environmental factors, for example, the ‘mismatch hypothesis’ of evolutionary medicine.1 Of particular note, however, is the capacity to make rapid changes at neurophysiological and behavioural levels in response to alterations in environmental constraints. The ability to effectively modify responses under a broad spectrum of conditions is central to effective sporting performance and to long-term health outcomes. Simply speaking, the ability of humans to respond to a variety of challenges is what makes us stand out. The traditional dogma that injury or illness results from the failure to attain a single ‘ideal’ (specific movement pattern, nutritional status and anatomical alignment) has been challenged.2 The multifactorial nature of the majority of conditions has resulted in a general acceptance that a reductionist approach is often inadequate to describe the nuanced clinical presentation of many sporting injuries.3 The dynamic and frequently non-linear relationship between risk factors and injury incidence is, perhaps, better understood in relation to the ability of the individual to adapt to various challenges.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 0306-3674
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 03:59

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