University of Hertfordshire

Mechanisms and Classifications of Injury

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • Andrew Mitchell
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Sports Therapy, Injury Assessment and Rehabilitation
EditorsKeith Ward
Place of PublicationAbingdon
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-203-80719-4
ISBN (Print)0415593263, 978-0-415-59326-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


Despite the well documented health benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle, there is subsequently an increased risk of individuals sustaining an injury whilst taking part in physical activity. Injury has been defined by Whiting and Zernicke (1998: 2) as ‘damage, caused by physical trauma, sustained by tissues of the body.’ The human body is remarkably resilient to the stresses and strains exerted upon it by not only activities of daily life but by physical activity, such as sports and exercise. In daily life humans exert force on the ground and stairs whilst walking, in opening and closing doors and by lifting or carrying objects. During sports and exercise we still exert force on the ground, more often whilst running than walking, but we also apply force against balls, clubs, racquets, water, and in sports like rugby force is applied against other human beings. On a daily basis the tissues of the body experience numerous loads of varying intensities and suffer no ill effects. Injury only occurs when a force overloads the tissues’ ability to withstand it, resulting in tissue failure and damage. Force is defined as ‘the mechanical action or effect applied to a body that tends to produce acceleration’ (Whiting & Zernicke, 1998: 45).


Andrew Mitchell, ‘Mechanisms and Classifications of Injury’, in Keith Ward, ed., Routledge Handbook of Sports Therapy, Injury Assessment and Rehabilitation, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015), ISBN 978-0-415-59326-7, eISBN 978-0-203-80719-4.

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