Landing and lower limb biomechanics

High Impact Landings

If not performed correctly, high impact landings can result in catastrophic injury. Our past research with the Australian Military Parachute Training School (PTS) in Nowra, NSW, found that some PLF training practices and techniques were not adequately preparing trainees for actual descents onto the drop zone. Our most recent projects in this area have focused on investigating how surfers attenuate the high impact forces associated with performing aerial manoeuvres. Aerial manoeuvres have become one of the most effective ways to increase a surfers potential single-wave score during a surfing competition. However, the radical way surfers perform these aerial manoeuvres, both recreationally and in competition, has resulted in a growing incidence of acute lower limb injuries, particularly ankle injuries. Evidence-based strategies, therefore, need to be developed to ensure surfers can learn safe techniques to land aerial manoeuvres.

Overuse Lower Limb Injuries

Biomechanical factors that may contribute to the high incidence of overuse lower limb injuries in sports involving repetitive jumping and landing movements, including the repetitive impact forces experienced during running, are of interest within the BRL. We have previously investigated the effects of fatigue on patellar tendon loading during simulated volleyball jumping and landing tasks, as well as the influence of trunk biomechanics on lower limb loading. Our current research in this area is focused on identifying anthropometric and biomechanical factors that contribute to overuse lower limb injuries in distance runners. The ultimate aim of this research is to identify characteristics of individuals who have overuse injury symptoms and, in turn, identify potential risk factors for these injuries that can be targeted in future studies to better manage the injury or, preferably, prevent individuals developing overuse lower limb injuries.