NORWAY. Given that 2014 brings us both the Sochi Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup, it’s safe to say that athleticism is in vogue this year. In the spirit of sports, RoosterGNN interviewed Jan Cabri, Professor and Head of the Department of Physical Performance, at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education. Below Dr. Cabri discusses common athletic injuries, the role of physical therapy and his research regarding kinematics.

What are some of the most common injuries athletes sustain?

Cabri: Depends on the sport, but ankle and knee are probably the most frequently injured of which ACL rupture and ankle inversion trauma are favorites.

Why is the knee one of the most commonly injured parts of the body?

The knee is a very unstable joint, anatomically speaking. Ligaments and muscles therefore must guarantee its stability. But in many sports, moments of force (resulting from both internal and external forces ) are high and uncontrolled and therefore may damage rupture/disrupt the tissues around the knee.

Physical therapy is often thought of as something you do post-injury or surgery. Could it be helpful to individuals in general?

Yes as long as PT involves physical activity. Using knowledge from sport science (e.g. Training methods), PT´s can be involved in both rehabilitation and prevention.

How important is stretching? Should we do it daily, regardless of whether or not we exercise?

There is no sound evidence to advocate stretching both in rehabilitation and exercise. However, it may have a psychological effect on how the athlete “feels” and thus performance.

Can physical therapy be useful to individuals who suffer from osteoporosis?

Yes, if the osteoporosis is not too evolved and if the intervention is based on physical activity (of course adapted to the load bearing capabilities of the patient).

Can chronic ailments be overcome over time with physical therapy?

No, otherwise it would not be chronic. If you are referring to chronic low back pain, no real evidence exists that PT may resolve this problem.

A lot of your research focuses on kinematics. Could you describe what that is in layman’s terms?

Kinematics: kinei= Greek for movement. It is the study of movement.

What elements of kinematics could be applied to improving an athlete’s performance?

To make an athlete more efficient in his/her movement, means that performance will increase, also.

Can we use this knowledge, and knowledge of biomechanics in general, to design equipment better suited for athletes?

Yes, definitely! We do this on a daily basis at our biomechanics lab.

Does kinematics differ among individuals of different ages or genders?

Absolutely! As older we get, the less efficient our movements get because of deterioration of bones, joints, muscles, nervous system etc. Women have different kinematics than man, due to a lot of reasons, but definitely anatomy is one of them.


Dr. Jan Cabri |Dr. Jan Cabri

Dr. Jan Cabri |Dr. Jan Cabri

Jan Cabri, born in Brussels (Belgium), received his PhD in Physical Therapy and Motor Rehabilitation in 1989 at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He was awarded an associate professorship in Sports Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the aforementioned university in 1992. From 1996 to 2009 he was invited as a visiting professor at the Technical University Lisbon, Faculty of Human Movement (Portugal), after which he was appointed as Professor and Head of the Department of Physical Performance, at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education (Norway). His research interests are mainly in applied (sports) biomechanics and kinesiologic electromyography. He is a member of the Scientific Board of the European College of Sports Science and of the World Commission of Sport Science, Science and Football Steering Group. Furthermore, he serves as Section editor in the European Journal of Sport Science