Nearly 30% of all College Athlete Injuries a Result of Overuse

Overuse injuries are nearly 30% of all injuries sustained by college
athletes, with a majority (62%) of overuse injuries occurring in female
athletes, according to a study published in the Journal of Athletic

“Overuse injuries may present not only physical challenges but also
psychological ones that could significantly affect an athlete’s recovery
and performance,” study co-author Tracey Covassin, PhD, stated in a
Michigan State University news release. “Understanding the frequency, rate
and severity of overuse injuries is an important first step for designing
effective injury-prevention programs, intervention strategies and treatment
protocols to prevent and rehabilitate athletes with these types of

According to the release, the study sample consisted of 573 male and
female collegiate athletes from an NCAA Division I institution participating in
16 team sports. There were 1,317 injuries reported in this cohort during the
3-year study period (2005 through 2008), the release noted, with 386 (29.3%)
overuse injuries and 931 (70.7%) acute injuries.

According to the release, 319 male athletes sustained 705 injuries while
254 female athletes sustained 612 injuries. Female athletes were found to have
a higher rate of overuse injury than male athletes (24.6 vs. 13.2 per 10,000
athlete exposures), according to the study abstract.

The most common overuse injuries were general stress (27%), inflammation
(21%) and tendinitis (16%). The authors noted that wrestling, football,
women’s soccer and other contact sports were associated with a higher
acute injury risk while overuse injuries were found more frequently in rowing,
softball, volleyball, cross country, track and field and other low-contact

“Better strategies for the prevention and early intervention of
overuse injuries in all sports and for both sexes are imperative in order to
reduce their number and severity,” Covassin stated.

For more information:

Yang J, Tibbetts A, Covassin T, et al. Epidemiology of overuse and acute
injuries among competitive collegiate athletes. J Athl Train. 2012;

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