Dr Leanda McKenna

Dr Leanda McKenna

Dr Leanda McKenna loves helping people and she said that “physiotherapist works in a very individual level with their patients and can really make a difference to their lives”. Leanda did her Master in Sport Physiotherapy and PhD which examined shoulder pain in adolescent swimmers. Leanda not only does research but also works in clinical practise as a sport physiotherapist.

Leanda’s greatest achievement in her research area is publishing in the British Journalism Sport Medicine (BJSM). She feels that publishing in the BJSM is her greatest achievement because BJSM is read by not only physiotherapist, but also by many other discipline in the sporting arena. This meant that her research was getting across the world to other people.

Research Summary

How easy is it to get an injury while doing sports? How much sport do you need to do before getting an injury? Dr Leanda McKenna is currently involved in a research project that looks at what the risk factors are for teenagers to get sporting injuries. Teenagers from 12 – 18 years old are a different group of people and perhaps more sustainable to sporting injuries due to factors such as popularity, school grades, sleep, social contact, peer pressure etc. Are these factors possibly linked to how they are playing sports and getting injured?

The combination of how much running a particular teenager is doing and how hard they do it is called a load. How much load does it take for a teenager to get an injury? Load is calculated through using how many kilometres a particular teenager may have ran times their Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), which will then give an Arbitary Unit (AU). Load is calculated for each session done during the week. If any particular individual gets a sporting injury, their AU will be looked back to see if they had increased their load too suddenly and thus, their body was unable to deal with it.

A PhD student who is also involved in the research project found that sleep is very important when he was looking through past literature. Leanda found this to be quite interesting and said that sleep will definitely be highly considered when looking at all the risk factors.

This research project helps teenager who loves playing sports and their parents understand what the risk factors are for them to get a sporting injury to minimise the risk. Additionally, coaches can also be informed about the risk factors to ensure that teenagers aren’t being over trained.

School children playing soccer

Research Problems 

  • How can we create a catchy advertising that will attract 12 – 18 years old to sign up for the study?
  • How to make sure that participants filled out the survey every week? How to come up with some kind of reminder?

Additional Resources 

Tips for problem solving
Tips for a presentation structure

Tips for problem solving

  • Break it down, sometimes the problem is just too big.
  • After breaking the problem into little bits, work on one of the little bit first
  • Start on the problem little bits by bits

Tips for a presentation structure

  • Firstly, ask a question to get the audience thinking (Maybe: get the audience to write it down)
  • Examples of question to ask: How do you make sure your child doesn’t get injured? What are the things that you do to ensure that your kids doesn’t get a sporting injury?
  • Then jump right in! …Well, it’s deeper than that, risk factors such as sleep….

Contact Dr Leanda McKenna for more information:

Dr Leanda McKenna Staff Profile