Triathlon Injuries

Triathlon Injuries

Article by John Miller

Triathlete Injuries

Triathletes are vulnerable to the full spectrum of sports injuries that could be sustained from swimmingcycling or running.

Most triathletes suffer overuse or overtraining injuries, but acute traumatic injuries can also occur during an event or training.

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport or RED-S is a known concern.

Please visit the following links dedicated to the three disciplines of a triathlon:

Swimming Injuries

Cycling Injuries

Running Injuries

Most Common Triathlon Injuries

Typically, the types of injuries triathletes deal with are overuse injuries.

Triathlon training repetitively stresses muscles, tendons, and the tissues around joints and bones. This continuous stress produces repetitive microtrauma.

Overuse injuries result from the body’s inability to keep up with repair of the damage created by repetitive microtrauma. The body’s tissue eventually breaks down — resulting in pain, inflammation, and weakness.

Ignoring the pain and inflammation and continuing to train will lead to macrotrauma and disruption of the tendon, muscle or bone. The worst-case scenario is an injury that could result in weeks or months away from your triathlon training and competition.

If you need advice or you need to manage your triathlete injury, we strongly recommend that you utilise expert advice. Poorly diagnosed and mismanaged injuries can ultimately interrupt your training and event schedules.

How To Treat Triathlon Injuries

The following treatment guidelines will obviously vary depending on your specific injury.

Treatment for most triathlon injuries includes:

Acute Injury Management

  • Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE)

Soft Tissue Management

  • Massage, Dry Needling, Acupuncture and Muscle Stretching
  • Neural Tissue Mobility

Muscle Control

  • Daily program of Core Stability Training
  • Strengthening Program to Correct any Muscle Imbalances

Biomechanical Correction

  • Contributing Biomechanical Factors: identification and correction
  • Orthoses to correct leg length discrepancies or foot deformities
  • Professional evaluation/correction of your swimming style,  running gait and cycle position eg Physio or Podiatrist
  • Cycling Set-up Analysis

Training Analysis

It is important to ensure that you are undertaking a well-balanced training schedule to optimise your performance and minimise your injury risk.

For more significant or persistent injuries, a triathlete should seek out quality and informed medical advice applicable to triathletes. Health professionals can include your Sports Physiotherapist, Sports Physician, Sports Podiatrist, Sports Massage Therapist, Sports Dietitian and/or Sports Psychologist.

Arm Pain Causes

Arm pain and injuries are widespread. Arm pain can occur as a result of either sudden, traumatic or repetitive overuse. The causes can be related to sports injuries, work injuries or simply everyday arm use.

Arm pain can be a local injury, musculoskeletal injury or could even be referred from nerves in your neck (cervical radiculopathy). This can result in neck-arm pain.

Causes of Arm Pain by Region

Causes of Arm Pain by Structure

Neck-Related Arm Pain

Shoulder-Related Arm Pain

Elbow-Related Arm Pain

Wrist-Related Arm Pain

Hand-Related Arm Pain

Muscle-Related Arm Pain

Other Sources of Arm Pain

Common Causes of Arm Pain

The most common sources of arm pain include shoulder painwrist pain and elbow pain.

Referred Arm Pain

As mentioned earlier, arm pain can be referred to from another source. Cervical radiculopathy is a common source of referred arm pain. Cervical radiculopathy will not respond to treatment where you feel the arm pain. However, it will respond positively to treatment at the source of the injury (e.g. your neck joints).

Professional assessment from a health practitioner skilled in diagnosing both spinal-origin and local-origin (muscle and joint) injuries (e.g. your physiotherapist) is recommended to ensure an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment directed at the arm pain source.

Arm Pain has Diverse Causes.

The causes of your arm pain can be extensive and varied. Due to this diversity, your arm pain should be assessed by a suitably qualified health practitioner to attain an accurate diagnosis, treatment plan and implementation specific to your arm pain.

What Arm Pain is Associated with a Heart Attack?

Left-arm pain can be an early sign of a life-threatening cardiac issue. Based on this, a professional medical assessment that involves an accurate history, symptom analysis, physical examination and diagnostic tests to exclude a potential heart attack is important to exclude this potentially life-threatening source of arm pain.

For more information, please consult with your health practitioner, call an ambulance on 000, or visit a hospital emergency department to put your mind at ease.

Good News. Most Arm Pain is NOT Life-Threatening.

Luckily, life-threatening arm pain is far less likely than a local musculoskeletal injury. Arm pain caused by a localised arm muscle, tendon or joint injury should be assessed and confirmed by your health practitioner before commencing treatment.

Arm Pain Prognosis

The good news is that arm pain, and injury will normally respond very favourably to medical or physiotherapy intervention when early professional assessment and treatment is sought. Please do not delay in consulting your healthcare practitioner if you experience arm pain.

Common Arm Pain Treatments

With accurate assessment and early treatment, most arm injuries respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy or medical care, allowing you to resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living quickly.

Please ask your physiotherapist for their professional treatment advice.