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The nature and incidence of injury among elite speed roller skaters

1 May 1990


A six page questionnaire was distributed to competitors at the 1989 U.S. National Roller Speed Skating championships in Ft. Worth, Texas. Information was obtained regarding demographic data and injury nature, incidence, and management. One-hundred and seventy skaters with an average age of 18, replied to the study. These skaters trained year round and practiced between 4 and 15 hows per week. Stretching is a neglected part of the training regimen with only 45% of the skaters spending more than 5 minutes per day stretching, however, 77% reported wearing a helmet during practice. The average number of injuries reported during the 2 year period was 6.7 per skater. Acute injuries outnumbered overuse injuries 3 to 1, however, women sustained significantly more overuse injuries (p=.045) than their male counterparts. The lower extremity accounted for 17% of all reported injuries with the ankle and foot having the highest incidence of injury. Common injuries to the lower extremity were muscle strains, shin splints, and ligament sprains. Eighteen concussions were reported with 11 of these being serious enough to keep the skater from practice for more than 3 days. Correlations were not noted between years of skating experience, training habits, or injury prevention strategies and incidence of injury.


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