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Prevalence and consequences of injuries in powerlifting: a cross-sectional study
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sports medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3383-0540
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sports medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4690-6759
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
2018 (English)In: The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 2325-9671, Vol. 6, no 5, article id 2325967118771016Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Powerlifting consists of the squat, bench press, and dead lift, and extreme loads are lifted during training and competitions. Previous studies, which have defined an injury as an event that causes an interruption in training or competitions, have reported a relatively low frequency of powerlifting injuries (1.0-4.4 injuries/1000 hours of training). No previous study has investigated the prevalence of injuries, defined as a condition of pain or impairment of bodily function that affects powerlifters’ training, in a balanced sample of men and women, and no studies have established possible risk factors for an injury.

Purpose: To investigate the prevalence, localization, and characterization of injuries among Swedish subelite classic powerlifters, with an emphasis on differences between men and women, and to investigate whether training and lifestyle factors are associated with an injury.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: A total of 53 female and 51 male Swedish subelite powerlifters answered an online questionnaire including questions about background characteristics, training habits, and lifestyle factors. The main part of the questionnaire included questions about injuries and their consequences. An injury was defined as a condition of pain or impairment of bodily function that affects powerlifters’ training.

Results: Seventy percent (73/104) of participants were currently injured, and 87% (83/95) had experienced an injury within the past 12 months. The lumbopelvic region, shoulder, and hip were the most commonly injured areas for both sexes. Women experienced a significantly greater frequency of injuries in the neck and thoracic region than men. Injuries seemed to occur during training, although only 16% (11/70) of those currently injured had to completely refrain from training. Training frequency, greater personal best in the dead lift, injury onset during bench-press and dead-lift training, use of straps, alcohol consumption, and dietary issues were associated with current injuries.

Conclusion: Injuries are very common in subelite powerlifters. Men and women report similar injury frequencies but different anatomic locations. These injuries do not prevent powerlifters from training and competing, but they may change the content of training sessions. Why powerlifters develop injuries is still unclear; however, it is likely that the management of training loads and optimization of the lifting technique during the squat, bench press, and dead lift are of importance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2018. Vol. 6, no 5, article id 2325967118771016
Keywords [en]
sports injury, risk factors, resistance training, low back pain
National Category
Physiotherapy Sport and Fitness Sciences Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
physiotherapy; biomechanics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147734DOI: 10.1177/2325967118771016ISI: 000432239400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-147734DiVA, id: diva2:1206180
Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2018-06-13Bibliographically approved

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Aasa, UlrikaGilenstam, KajsaBerglund, Lars

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