Injury Prevention in Sport
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Original Editor - Wanda van Niekerk
Top Contributors - Wanda van Niekerk
Physical activity and sports participation is encouraged by all health care professionals as it has numerous positive effects on a person's health. There is however, the significant burden of sport-related musculoskeletal injury, with the greatest risk being in the youth and young adult populations. It is vital to incorporate primary injury prevention and make this a public health priority as this will have significant implications for reducing long-term consequences of musculoskeletal injuries, such as early post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
The Importance of Sport Injury Prevention
One of the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle across the lifespan is physical activity and participation in sport and recreation is encouraged by all health care professionals. The sport-related injury burden is however significant and there is a need for research into the evaluation of injury prevention strategies in all sports across all ages. The youth and young adult populations have the highest participation rates, but also the highest injury rates and sport is the leading cause of injury in youth. Studies have shown that 20% of schoolchildren will miss at least one day of school per year due to sports injuries, and one in three youth seek medical attention for sports-related injuries per year. Even adults lose at least one day a year from work as a result of sport-related injury. Sport is the the leading cause of all injuries in youth, but also has an impact on the adult population. Furthermore, the financial implications of sport-related injuries are huge. In Australia alone the direct cost of sport-related injury over a seven year period amounted to an estimated 265 million Australian dollars. From these injury rates and high financial costs, it is clear that the injury-burden is significant and that there is a need to implement evidence-based injury prevention strategies to reduce the risk of injury in youth, and also across the lifespan. Lower extremity injuries are the highest overall burden of sport-related injury at 60%, of which 60% of these are ankle and knee joint injuries.
Injuries in sport may also contribute to the rising burden of overweight and obesity in youth, with 8% of youth dropping out of sport per year because of injury or fear of injury. This leads to a further decline in physical activity participation and this has negative implications (obesity, post-traumatic osteoarthritis) on future health. Reducing the significant burden of sport-related injury would have great impact on quality of life through the promotion of physical activity.
Physical activity, sport and recreation is vital in youth and for all age groups to have a healthy lifestyle, to promote healthy growth and development, to prevent chronic disease and to reduce stress.These benefits from participation in sport and recreation has important implications for public health, but the injury risk must be balanced and addressed.
Injury Prevention - A Systematic Approach
Sport Injury Prevention Programs - The Evidence
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