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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1998 December;38(4):337-43

Copyright © 1999 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

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


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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.

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