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Special Issue "Tactical Forces Injury Risk Management"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 13265

Special Issue Editors

School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Sydney, Australia
Interests: tactical forces injury risk management; tactical forces physical performance; physiotherapy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Aviation, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
Interests: injury reduction and performance optimization in tactical athletes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tactical personnel (for example, military, firefighter, law enforcement, paramedic and rescue personnel) perform challenging roles in often harsh and dangerous environments. Injuries are both common and a threat to force strength, readiness and capability, but they are not just a result of bad luck. Many factors affect the risk of injury, and injury risk can be manipulated by addressing those factors that are modifiable. Importantly, tactical forces injury risk management must be situated within a holistic risk management approach. This will ensure actions taken to manage injury risks contribute to the management of higher-level risks, like the risk of mission failure. Mission failure can be catastrophic, not just for the tactical forces involved but also for the communities and societies they serve and protect. It is clear that injury risk management must be an enabler and force multiplier, contributing alongside and balanced against other elements of tactical forces risk management to ensure force strength, readiness, capability and ultimate success. Increasing our knowledge regarding the best ways to effectively manage injury risks in this broader tactical forces risk context is essential, and there is a great need for further research in this area. In this Special Issue, we invite researchers and practitioners to submit manuscripts reporting such research, to inform future efforts in tactical forces injury risk management. 

Dr. Robin Orr
Dr. JoEllen M. Sefton
Dr. Rodney Peter Pope
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Injury
  • risk management
  • tactical forces
  • injury prevention
  • musculoskeletal
  • force preservation
  • injury control

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
How Does Time Spent Working in Custody Influence Health and Fitness Characteristics of Law Enforcement Officers?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9297; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179297 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
This study investigated the influence of time spent working in custody on the health and fitness of law enforcement officers (LEOs). Retrospective analysis was conducted on data from 48 male and 12 female LEOs, divided into groups based upon time spent working custody: [...] Read more.
This study investigated the influence of time spent working in custody on the health and fitness of law enforcement officers (LEOs). Retrospective analysis was conducted on data from 48 male and 12 female LEOs, divided into groups based upon time spent working custody: LEO ≤ 24 (≤24 months; n = 15); LEO 2547 (25–47 months; n = 24); and LEO 48+ (≥48 months; n = 21). The following were measured: body mass index (BMI); fat mass percentage; waist-to-hip ratio (WHR); resting heart rate (RHR); blood pressure; grip strength; sit-and-reach; push-ups; sit-ups; and YMCA step test recovery heart rate (HR). A univariate ANCOVA (controlling for sex and age) with Bonferroni post hoc determined significant between-group differences. Select assessments were compared to normative data. The LEO 48+ group completed fewer sit-ups than the LEO 2547 group (p = 0.006); there were no other significant between-group differences. Forty-nine LEOs were overweight or obese according to BMI; 52 were fatter than average or above; 27 had a WHR that increased cardiovascular disease risk. Forty-three LEOs had very poor RHR; 52 had elevated blood pressure. Forty-eight LEOs had average-to-very poor step test recovery HR. Irrespective of time spent working in custody, personnel should be physically active to maintain health and fitness and, where possible, engage in formal strength training and conditioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactical Forces Injury Risk Management)
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Article
Profiling the Injuries Sustained by Police Trainees Undergoing Initial Training: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147335 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
The tasks performed by police officers are unique, varied and can be performed in unexpected situations. Initial police college training is used to prepare new police officers to conduct these tasks and is known to be a time when police trainees are at [...] Read more.
The tasks performed by police officers are unique, varied and can be performed in unexpected situations. Initial police college training is used to prepare new police officers to conduct these tasks and is known to be a time when police trainees are at an elevated risk of injury. The aim of this study was to profile injuries occurring within a national Police Force during initial training to inform injury prevention strategies. Using a retrospective cohort design, point-of-care injury data including injury body site, nature, mechanism, and the activity being performed at the time of injury were provided. A total of 564 injuries were recorded over the 22-month period, with the mean age of recruits reporting an injury being 28.83 years ± 6.9 years. The incidence of injuries ranged across training periods, from 456.25 to 3079 injuries per 1000 person-years with an overall incidence rate of 1550.15 injuries per 1000 person-years. The shoulder was the most injured site (n = 113, 20% of injuries), with sprains and strains being the most common nature of injury (n = 287, 50.9% of injuries). Muscular stress with physical exercise was the most common mechanism of injury (n = 175, 31.0% of injuries) with the activity responsible for the largest proportion of injuries being “unknown” (n = 256, 45.4% of injuries), followed by police training (n = 215, 38.1%). Injuries appear to be typically joint related—commonly the shoulder—with police training being a primary known activity at the time of injury. Prescreening protocols may be of benefit, and efforts should be made to recruit and train physically resilient trainees. Injuries, whether they occurred pre-enlistment or during training, should be fully rehabilitated prior to the individual’s commencement as a qualified officer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactical Forces Injury Risk Management)
Article
Core and Whole Body Vibration Exercise Influences Muscle Sensitivity and Posture during a Military Foot March
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094966 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
Military foot marches account for 17–22% of Army musculoskeletal injuries (MSI), with low back pain (LBP) being a common complaint. Core-exercise and whole-body vibration (WBV) have been shown to decrease LBP in patients with chronic low back MSI. This study investigated if WBV [...] Read more.
Military foot marches account for 17–22% of Army musculoskeletal injuries (MSI), with low back pain (LBP) being a common complaint. Core-exercise and whole-body vibration (WBV) have been shown to decrease LBP in patients with chronic low back MSI. This study investigated if WBV and/or core-exercise influenced LBP or posture associated with a military ruck march. A randomized control trial with three groups: (1) WBV and core-exercise (WBVEx); (2) core-exercise alone (Ex); and (3) control evaluated the effects of core-exercise and WBV on LBP during/after a two 8 K foot marches with a 35 lb rucksack. The intervention groups completed three weeks of core-exercise training with/without WBV. Outcome measurements included visual analog scale (VAS), algometer, posture and electromyography (EMG). LBP, pressure threshold, and posture were elevated throughout the foot march regardless of group. LBP remained elevated for 48 h post foot march (p = 0.044). WBVEx and Ex did not have a significant effect on LBP. WBVEx and Ex both decreased muscle sensitivity and increased trunk flexion (p < 0.001) during the second foot march (FM2). The 8 K foot marches significantly increased LBP. Core-exercise training with/without WBV decreases low back muscle sensitivity. WBV and core-exercise increases trunk flexion which may help improve performance and may influence LBP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactical Forces Injury Risk Management)
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Article
Functional Movement Quality of Firefighter Recruits: Longitudinal Changes from the Academy to Active-Duty Status
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073656 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1616
Abstract
Approximately half of the injuries experienced by firefighters consist of musculoskeletal injuries (MSKIs). Functional movement quality may be associated with MSKI risk within this tactical athlete population. Previous research indicates that measures of body composition change among firefighter recruits progressing from academy training [...] Read more.
Approximately half of the injuries experienced by firefighters consist of musculoskeletal injuries (MSKIs). Functional movement quality may be associated with MSKI risk within this tactical athlete population. Previous research indicates that measures of body composition change among firefighter recruits progressing from academy training through active-duty service, but similar changes in functional movement quality have yet to be examined. The purpose of this study was to describe longitudinal changes in functional movement quality of firefighter recruits. Body mass index (BMI), body fat (BF), and Functional Movement Screen (FMS) data were collected from 26 male firefighter recruits at the onset (W1) and completion (W14) of their training academy, and at the completion of their probationary period of active-duty service (W38). After adjusting for changes in BMI and BF across time, significant changes (ps < 0.05) in Composite FMS scores were identified, with significant increases in from W1 to W14 and from W14 to W38, as well as an overall increase from W1 to W38. These results suggest that the development of firefighter-specific skills can decrease the MSKI risk of firefighter recruits by facilitating enhanced functional movement competencies, particularly during tasks that require single-leg movement and core strength and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactical Forces Injury Risk Management)
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Review

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Review
The Use of Fitness Testing to Predict Occupational Performance in Tactical Personnel: A Critical Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7480; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147480 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1774
Abstract
Tactical personnel work in an occupation that involves tasks requiring a high level of cardiovascular fitness as well as muscular strength and endurance. The aim of this literature review was to identify and critique studies investigating the relationship between physical fitness, quantified by [...] Read more.
Tactical personnel work in an occupation that involves tasks requiring a high level of cardiovascular fitness as well as muscular strength and endurance. The aim of this literature review was to identify and critique studies investigating the relationship between physical fitness, quantified by fitness assessment measures, and occupational task performance. Databases were searched for relevant articles which assessed a fitness measure and a measure of occupational performance. A total of 15 articles were included and were deemed to be of acceptable methodological quality (8.4/12 on the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist). Included articles assessed a variety of fitness attributes and occupational tasks. Across tactical groups, there appear to be no standardized fitness tests that can determine occupational performance, with aerobic fitness, anaerobic fitness, strength, endurance, power, and agility all being associated with occupational task performance. A wide range of fitness assessments appears to be required to predict occupational performance within tactical personnel. Efforts should be made to base fitness assessments on occupational demands unique to both the environment and requirements of each individual tactical unit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactical Forces Injury Risk Management)
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Review
Soldier Load Carriage, Injuries, Rehabilitation and Physical Conditioning: An International Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084010 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4174
Abstract
Soldiers are often required to carry heavy loads that can exceed 45 kg. The physiological costs and biomechanical responses to these loads, whilst varying with the contexts in which they are carried, have led to soldier injuries. These injuries can range from musculoskeletal [...] Read more.
Soldiers are often required to carry heavy loads that can exceed 45 kg. The physiological costs and biomechanical responses to these loads, whilst varying with the contexts in which they are carried, have led to soldier injuries. These injuries can range from musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., joint/ligamentous injuries and stress fractures) to neurological injuries (e.g., paresthesias), and impact on both the soldier and the army in which they serve. Following treatment to facilitate initial recovery from injuries, soldiers must be progressively reconditioned for load carriage. Optimal conditioning and reconditioning practices include load carriage sessions with a frequency of one session every 10–14 days in conjunction with a program of both resistance and aerobic training. Speed of march and grade and type of terrain covered are factors that can be adjusted to manipulate load carriage intensity, limiting the need to adjust load weight alone. Factors external to the load carriage program, such as other military duties, can also impart physical loading and must be considered as part of any load carriage conditioning/reconditioning program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactical Forces Injury Risk Management)
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