Stress fractures of the tibia: can personality traits help us detect the injury-prone athlete?

Ekenman, I. and Hassmen, Peter and Koivula, Nathalie and Rolf, C. and Felländer-Tsai, L. (2001) Stress fractures of the tibia: can personality traits help us detect the injury-prone athlete? Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 11 (2). pp. 87-95. ISSN 0905-7188


One of the few serious drawbacks associated with running
is overuse injuries such as stress fractures of the tibia,
which cause local pain and swelling, often resulting in a
temporary cessation of training. Whereas some runners
rarely become injured, others experience recurrent injuries
even during fairly short periods of time. The aim of the
present study was to compare selected personality traits in
a group of runners who had sustained a previous tibial
stress fracture (n½17), with a matched group of runners
(n½17) who had never experienced stress fractures. The
results indicated that the injured runners, especially the
women, scored higher than the non-injured runners did on
inventories measuring both the Type A behavior pattern
and exercise dependency. Since motivation, ambitiousness, and competitiveness are integral parts of these inventories, high scoring individuals might be part of a high-risk population for running injuries, the more so if the individual also feels dependent on regular running for managing stress related mood states, which was the case particularly for the injured women in the present study. However, the somewhat limited number of runners who had had a confirmatory scintigram, which was a criterion for inclusion in the study, warrants a cautious interpretation of the results. The findings nevertheless suggest that in order to prevent recurrent injuries, health education professionals and clinicians ought to focus on conveying the importance of detecting precursors of injury, and the subsequent steps which should be taken to avoid developing a serious injury.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 3488
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Awaiting Author's version. Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2007 05:18
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: stress fractures; tibia; personality; traits; injury-prone; injury-proneness; athletes
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110604 Sports Medicine

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only