Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Movement Econ 310: Discussion

A reader sent over a question and I thought it would be helpful for everyone else:

Question: Do injuries occur because of "insufficient funds (NSF)", high demand or bad luck or all of the above? Note that Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry (professional football players) blew out their ACL's on successive weeks. Was their deficit, assuming they really had one, due to short training camp and "insufficient funds" or were there high demands on a high balance account for just that 1 instance where the injury occurred?

Answer: Injury is ALWAYS an issue of NSF. Always!

Part of the time you might think of luck or 'being at the wrong place at the wrong time' as having a role that no matter the size of your movement bank account, you couldn't prevent the NSF. However, if you think of all injury within the concept of Movement Econ then what you have to assume is that some movements/activities/etc simply cost more than any person can invest.

Let's step outside of the athletic arena for a second to explain. Off the top of my head a hundred activities pop to mind that no one could fully prepare for (read: save up, invest, etc).

For example: a fall from an unrecoverable height.

This might happen as a result of a tree climbing accident, a fall from a tall ladder or your roof. Whichever you choose as the specific example, we can easily put ourselves in that situation and just as easily understand that a fall from a height like this (30-40 feet) WILL result in a catastrophic failure of one, if not many, structures upon hitting the ground. It wasn't that you couldn't save up adequate movement funds but it was that this activity was simply too costly. IF it were ever possible to add funds to your account so much so that this would not cause an NSF situation you would NOT be injured.

Take it back to the question of the athletic ACL injury resulting from a blow to the side with the knee either fully extended or at end range flexion: the outside force is simply too costly to overcome and then results in an overdrawn account (read: failure of the structure).

In the case of the very highly trained few, like the pro football players mentioned in the question, it can be easily understood that a program specific to ACL injury prevention would add the funds necessary to at least reduce the risk of NSF if that situation presented itself. It's certainly better than a program that does nothing to add funds needed to prevent ACL injury. A writer from the Wall Street Journal just wrote an article on this subject relating to female athletes; a very susceptible population for ACL injury.

On injuries resulting from this season's NFL lock out, there is evidence to support it. A recently published article pointed out the increased incidence of Achilles injury related specifically to the short preseason and contracted training camps. ACL injury numbers are soon to follow.

From an anecdotal standpoint, the easiest way to analyze this might just be to take injury incidence over the first 8 weeks of the season and compare to previous seasons. The way this year worked out, it almost completely controls for other factors because we haven't seen a play stoppage since the late 1990's.

Looking forward to your comments.

Be well.