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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1998 December;38(4):337-43
Back injuries in competitive squash players
MacFarlane D. J. 1, Shanks A. 2
1 PE and Sports Science Unit, University of Hong Kong;
2 School of Physical Education, University of Otago, New Zealand
Background. The aim of this investigation was to examine the prevalence of back injuries in competitive squash players.
Methods. Experimental design: a retrospective analysis was made using a cross-section of current competitive squash players (survivor population). Setting/participants: an attempt was made to distribute a questionnaire on back injuries to all competitive squash players registered in the Otago provincial area, New Zealand, (n=1047), of which 495 questionnaires were returned (47.3% compliance). Interventions: variables were cross-tabulated and analysed via descriptive statistics, paired t-tests, χ-analyses of trend and χ2 tests of significance. Measures: the questionnaire obtained information on demographics, the level of play (ability), overall volume of play (average frequency and duration of all exposures), plus the occurrence and severity of back injury.
Results. Nearly 52% of the sample reported they had suffered back injury. Of these, 33.5% claimed squash initiated their injury, 20.6% claimed squash exacerbated a previous back injury and the remaining 45.9% felt that squash had no detrimental effect on their back injury. Significantly higher frequencies of back injury were observed in males (56.5% compared to 46.4% in females, p=0.033), in players of higher grade (p=0.006), and with increased frequency (p=0.01), but not duration of play (p=1.0).
Conclusions. These results suggest that the greater activity and possible over-reaching for the ball associated with higher levels of play may increase the risk of back injury and provides tentative support for the notion that back injuries in squash players might be related to periods of relative over-use.