Epidemiology of Weight Training Injuries Analyzed

Nearly 1 million injuries suffered in U.S. over 18 years, with 25,335 seen in emergency departments
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- There were 25,335 weight training injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments from 1990 to 2007, which correlates to an estimate of nearly a million of these injuries nationwide, and further investigation is needed to develop age- and gender-specific injury prevention strategies and decrease injury rates, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Zachary Y. Kerr, of the Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues evaluated weight training-related injuries data on patients presenting to 100 U.S. emergency departments during 1990 to 2007.

During the study period, the authors noted 25,335 weight training-related injuries, correlating to an estimated 970,801 injuries nationwide. The most commonly injured body part was the upper trunk (25.3 percent), followed by the lower trunk (19.7 percent), with sprain or strain the most common diagnosis (46.1 percent). Many injuries occurred with free weights (90.4 percent), with dropping weights on the individual the most common mechanism of injury (65.5 percent). In addition, individuals using free weights experienced more fractures or dislocations than individuals using machines. Persons 55 and older were injured more when using machines than individuals 54 and younger (18.2 versus 9.3 percent). People age 12 and younger had a larger proportion of hand injuries than those aged 13 and older (37.9 versus 18.2 percent). Men experienced a greater proportion of upper trunk injuries compared to females (26.8 versus 18.4 percent), while females had a larger proportion of foot injuries (22.9 versus 11.0 percent).

"Increasing knowledge of the epidemiology of weight training-related injuries based on gender, age, and type of equipment used should lead to the development of targeted preventive measures aimed at decreasing injury rates among weight training participants," the authors write

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