With the return of summer, many athletes and sports enthusiasts resume their physical activities with renewed energy and motivation. But this time of year can also bring with it an increase in the incidence of sports injuries. While training methods and proper equipment play a crucial role in injury prevention, there is another factor that often goes unnoticed: the influence of genetics on sports injuries.
Yes, your genetics have an influence on your susceptibility to developing certain types of injuries such as Achilles tendon and ankle injuries.
When we talk about ankle injuries we refer to sprains, strains and other joint or instability disorders. Ankle injuries are frequent, especially in athletes who practice indoor or jumping sports. They affect the ligaments and muscles around the ankle.
A ankle muscle strain involves injury or overstretching of the muscles or tendons surrounding the ankle. Muscle strains can vary in severityThe range of symptoms ranges from a mild strain with discomfort and stiffness to a complete tear of the muscle or tendon with severe pain and inability to move the ankle.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments connecting the ankle bones are stretched or torn due to excessive force or sudden movement.
Symptoms of ankle injuries
Common symptoms of ankle sprains and strains include pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty moving the ankle, tenderness to touch and redness in the affected area. Initial treatment for these injuries usually includes rest, icing, compression and elevation.
Causes of ankle injuries
Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankle are injured, primarily the lateral ligamentous complex. Ankle injuries are usually caused by movements of the ankle that cause it to deviate from its axis (an acute eversion or inversion of the ankle).
How does genetics influence ankle injuries??
Although ankle injuries are usually caused by movements of the ankle that cause it to deviate from its axis, certain individuals may be at increased risk of injury following such trauma.
Several risk factors have been described (uneven surfaces, inadequate footwear...), but a the genetics of a person can also influence the risk of ankle injury, as well as the severity of the injury and the rate of recovery. These individuals can reduce their risk with preventive training, adapted conditioning and appropriate footwear.
The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Its main function is to allow flexion of the foot and assist in propulsion during walking, running and jumping.
What kind of injuries can the Achilles tendon suffer?
The Achilles tendon may rupture or present tendinopathy.
Tendinopathy is a generic term that encompasses both inflammatory (tendinitis) and degenerative (tendinosis) problems. This can occur due to intense sports activities, running on hard surfaces, sudden changes in training intensity, use of inappropriate footwear, or age-related weakening. Symptoms include pain and tenderness in the Achilles tendon, morning stiffness, and difficulty walking or running.
Achilles tendon rupture can occur as a result of a sudden force exerted on the tendon (such as falling from a height) or trauma to the tendon, or as a result of chronic tendinitis that weakens the tendon tissue. It is most common in middle-aged people and in athletes who participate in sports involving rapid changes of direction. Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include a "snapping" or "popping" sound in the back of the leg, severe pain, swelling, difficulty walking or standing on tiptoe.
How do genetics influence Achilles tendon injuries?
There are genetic markers that predict an individual's risk of suffering Achilles tendon injury. The role of genetic polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes related to tendon structure and function, such as type V collagen and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), has been examined.
For that reason, understanding your genetic predisposition to sports injuries can prevent injuries, helping you to better understand your body and train smarter and safer. Discover the influence of genetics on sports injuries with con ADNTRO!