Professor in University College
Physiotherapy department. University of Valencia
Head of service
Physical and Rehabilitation medicine Service.
Lluís Alcanyis Hospital, Xàtiva and General Hospital, Ontinyent
Masters in Healthcare Management. University of Valencia
The planned physical exercise has very important beneficial effects and they are studied both in physical and psychological way in depth.
The cardio-circulatory system and the different parts which form the locomotive system, specially muscles, tendons and articulations as well and bones, are some of the main beneficial elements without forgiving the effects about anxiety, stress, etc…
The sport practice to get these beneficial results is very used these days in people houses as well as in gyms, hotels, companies etc…and from different social and media ways it is sent the message of how important and beneficial is to practice physical sport in every ages and social class.
To use this physical activity can cause some lesions and among the most important ones are the injuries related with the soft parts of locomotive system.
The tendinious and muscular lesions caused by mechanical overweight acquire more relevance in sport and work area every day because of its high power (as in impact-increase number of people who practices sport and workers with barely professional skills to specific activities – as well as in prevalence –
It´d better know the term "mechanical overloaded" each gesture or movement with functional purpose – labour or sporty made with more intensity than necessary (over effort) and repeated without a break (over-use) or it demand a more complex muscular-tendino beyond the current anatomical limit (over-solicitation) it can cause an overload on the tendinose or muscle structure on which rests.
The over effort often causes acute injuries, the over use and the over-solicitation more often causes sub acute or chronic injuries.
The wrong stereotyped gestures labours or sporty will cause traumatism on the tendons, muscles or other soft parts- ligaments, fascia…- and if over these elements work some predisposed factors, it will cause less or high injury risk that it can lead to a tendon, muscle or other soft structures of the locomotor.
As some of the most important factors that we can talk about: the existence of previous injuries in this structure, the tendon degeneration because of the age, the existence of a osteoarticular congenital pathology- tibial twist femoral and anteversion,…-dymetria in back limbs, inappropriate physical condition, deficient labor or sporty technique, wrong dosage of the working day or training, inappropriate material, inappropriate labour or sporty media, wrong specialty labor or sporty choice to the conditions or possibilities of each person.
It is not convenient to considerate as a banal pathology the tendinomuscles injuries caused by overloads, and lesions can´t be treated in any way because they produce a functional alteration, although it can be more or less large and it can be longer or perpetuated depending on the therapy followed since the beginning and it can cause a really long-term effects.
This labour of physical sporty skills alteration it is going to have an important relevance in the social and economical aspect, because it is going to produce a less labour or sporty output as well as in sporty people in which a pathologic circuit it is placed and it will change the quality of these people life.
For that reason it will be beneficial as a preventing system of these injuries every media which reduce the mechanical overloads over organic structures.
When practising walking or running is essential to use appropriate shoes with good cushioning system loads, discharge plantar orthoses, use soft surfaces (grass, sand) avoiding as much as possible hard surfaces (asphalt…) and this is not always possible for many reasons.
It would be an excellent alternative to use running or walking systems as treadmill walking, which will produce the same beneficial effects that produce these activities but without the need of using outdoor surfaces. With the use od damping system of mechanical loads, such as the artificial grass covering in the firm treadmill used, it could be possible to prevent in a very effective way some injuries caused by mechanical overload said before. They can appear not only in ankles or feet but also in knees, hips or even in the lumbar vertebral column.
To run is considerate a high impact physical activity, since it is a sequence of repeated hops one after another, and these little hops produce stress and micro traumatisms on the articulations, tendons, ligaments, vertebral column etc.
It is medically proved that running over softer lands or surfaces can help to avoid, reduce and save a lot of injuries to our organism.
Football, hockey, basketball, Volley and many other sports are between the sports and exercises that are considered as high impact sports and in the opposite side we find the sports that considered as low impact ones such as: swimming, cycli ng and rowing.
Now, as we are aware of that dangerousness of running activity as high impact sport we should take necessary precautions so that this activity won't be harmful to our organism, since we do exercise to make us feeling better and healthy not to injury us.
There are many factors to avoid this kind of micro traumatism. One of these can be to choose the appropriate shoes and the other one can be the right choice of the surface when the activity is going to take place, and in this case I am going to refer exclusively to the more convenient surface to practise this type of physical activity.
The surfaces that decrease the problems of these high impact activities are the soft surfaces that are why it is recommended to run on grass. Problems related with hard surfaces such as asphalt or treadmill without the enough absorption to the impact
These surfaces produce a higher bounced and less absorption therefore we increase the possibility to injury and suffer a possible tendinitis (tendons inflammation), periostitis (periostam imflamation, membrane that covers the bones), articular injury, etc.
It is important to say that all these problems increase when a person is overweight (something very common in people who start doing this kind of physical activity for first time and they are unaware of how important is to choose an appropriate surface to train), because this overweight increases the possibility to suffer an injury due to what we have been talking about the micro traumatism.
That is the reason why overweight people should take more careful and don't practice these kinds of exercises on hard surfaces as asphalt, cement, parquet, etc.
And the advantages of running on grass are the opposite: less micro traumatisms, more absorption, less bounces etc., but obviously, we can also find disadvantages on land and grass and here is where we have to pay attention.
PROS the most important grass advantage is the low impact when you step, and this fact is appreciated by those who start running or by those who have suffered an injure. That is often the main cause why people choose this option.
Natural grass has also most of these advantages, but it is outdoor activity and it depends on the weather. It has been shown that the natural grass is irregular and many times it has holes that you are not able to find out so it can cause serious lesions in legs such as: ankle or knees sprain.
The main aim of sport medicine specialist is that a sportsman or woman has a properly and quickly physical rehabilitation.
Injuries are frequently in athletes, maybe because of the sport itself or maybe by the excessive use of a muscle.
Some rehabilitation basic aims are to recover quickly its function, avoid injuries and return to sport safely.
For those reasons the treadmill with artificial grass not only avoid lesions but also it is proved scientifically that it helps to the fast and efficient rehabilitation.