Special Forces: Training, MRIs & Overuse Injuries in the Spine:

Boot Camp & Military Fitness Institute

Research Paper Title

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Showed No Signs of Overuse or Permanent Injury to the Lumbar Sacral Spine during a Special Forces Training Course.


Special Forces training is even more demanding than that of elite athletes. The training includes gruelling physical activity and periods of sleep deprivation. The soldiers routinely carry heavy loads up to 40% of their body weight on their backs while running and marching for distances up to 90 km.


The purpose was to find out if Special Forces recruits are able to complete the preparatory Navy Seals training programme without sustaining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signs of overuse or irreversible injury to their backs.

Study Design/Setting

Prospective cohort study. The researchers performed MRI scans before and after 14 weeks of Navy Seals preparatory training course.

Patient Sample

Ten soldiers underwent MRI of their lumbar sacral spines and right knees before and after theā€¦

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