Time to injury influenced by gender, sport in varsity athletes

Among male and female athletes, gender and type of sport heavily influenced time to injury whereas performance measures were not found to be significant predictors, according to a study.

Forty female and 46 male varsity athletes in basketball, volleyball and ice hockey completed preseason baseline measures during the month preceding the start of their competitive season and post-season injury survey. Fitness measures included Apley’s range of motion, push-up, curl-ups, vertical jump, modified Illinois agility and sit-and-reach. Injury prevalence, time to injury and pre-season fitness measures as predictors of time to injury were included as outcome measures. Researchers used Cox regression models to identify which baseline fitness measures were predictors of time to injury,

During the 2008 to 2009 season, 76% of athletes reported one or more injuries, of which 63.1% were new injuries and 29% were recurrence of past injuries. Incomplete muscle or tendon strain was the most common injury type reported. Study results showed a significant univariate correlation between push-up and time to injury. More injuries occurred during games (11.8%) vs. practices (6.9%) and during the regular season (61.5%); 33.8% of injuries occurred during preseason and 4.6% during post-season.

Women experienced a significantly shorter time to initial injury (40.6%) vs. men (66.1%). A significantly shorter time to injury was found among athletes playing volleyball compared to those playing hockey or basketball.

“Our study found the prevalence of injury types and location to be similar to those found in other studies,” the researchers concluded. “When accounting for exposure, gender and sport, performance measures were not found to be significant predictors of time to injury. Time to injury was influenced most heavily by gender and sport. Our study did not support the hypothesis that baseline performance measures would predict time to injury.”


For more information:

Kennedy MD, Fischer R, Fairbanks K, et al. Can pre-season fitness measures predict time to injury in varsity athletes?: a retrospective case control study. Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. 2012;4:26.

Disclosure: The researchers have no relevant financial disclosures.

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