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Injury Prevention for Mission Fitness

Injury Prevention

Injury prevention directly supports mission readiness. When service members are injured in the workplace, training, recreating or other circumstances, it impacts their ability to complete their mission.

  • As many as 50% of service members experience an injury every year. Not all injuries can be avoided, but many common injuries can be prevented. 
  • An Army study found that noncombat musculoskeletal injuries (MSKI) account for nearly 60% of soldiers' limited duty days, and contribute to 65% of soldiers who cannot deploy for medical reasons. 

Occupational Injuries

Occupational injuries are injuries experienced at work because of work you do. Service members work in a variety of very challenging conditions with many potential injury risks. Managing these risks is critical to maintaining mission readiness and avoiding missed duty time. Service members work in a variety of very challenging conditions with many potential injury risks. Wearing proper protective equipment, like helmets, ear covers and safety glasses is key to preventing workplace injuries. Repetitive stress and hand injuries are also common among service members. 

Tips to prevent workplace injuries:

Training and Recreational Injuries

Training and recreational activities help service members optimize their fitness and performative but are also common source of injuries. Training and recreational activities  are particularly concerning, as they often lead to lost duty days. Proper preventive steps minimize the risk of injuries during these activities. 

Some number of training and recreational injuries are unavoidable, but here are some tips to minimize those injuries: 

Injury Recovery

When service members suffer an injury, proper recovery is needed to return to duty. Working with a health provider, following a plan, and avoiding reinjury are critical. A good recovery program, executed properly, accelerates recovery and gets service members back to full duty status. The sooner an injury recovery program begins, the more likely and successful the recovery. 

The greatest risk factor for a musculoskeletal injury is a previous musculoskeletal injury. Completing recovery before retuning to previous levels physical activity is critical to preventing future injuries. Not only that, but small injuries can pile up over time - it is better to seek medical advice before small injuries turn into something more serious. 

If you are injured, it may be necessary to rearrange your home, workspace, habits, or recreation to eliminate activities that could reinjure your, especially if your injury is related to heavy lifting. Some injuries require physical therapy to recovery, while other may require surgery. Discuss options with your primary care provider. 

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Physical training, recreational activities, and sports are key to service members’ health but musculoskeletal injuries due to sudden incidents and repeated stress or overuse are the biggest health problem in the U.S. military.

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Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Injury Prevention
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