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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 09

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Water Ski Injuries and Chronic Pain in Collegiate Athletes.


Jung H C, Straltsova H, Woodgate MA, Kim K-M, Lee J-M, Lee J-H, Gann JJ
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 09; 18(8).
PMID: 33918591.


This study examined the rate of injuries and chronic pain in collegiate water-ski athletes as a preliminary study. We also compared the mechanics and cause of injuries by the level of water-skiing experiences. A total number of 96 collegiate water-ski athletes, aged 21.4 ± 2.23 years, participated in the study. An off-line questionnaire was distributed at the collegiate tournaments in the United States. The questionnaire consisted of 20 questions, including demographic information, body region and type of injuries, mechanics and cause of injuries, chronic pain and pain management. A Chi-squared test was used to examine the differences in injury rates by sex and the level of experiences (beginner: <5 years, intermediate: 5-10 years, advanced: <10 years). The significance level was set at ≤0.05. A total of 336 water skiing-related injuries were observed from 96 participants. The ankle/feet, knee, and head/neck regions were the most common body regions injured, representing 26.5, 16.7, and 15.8%, respectively. Female athletes were more likely to have nerve injuries than male athletes ( = 0.039). The intermediate athletes were more likely to have trunk ( = 0.047) and upper extremity ( = 0.042) injuries than beginner athletes, and the beginner athletes had less joint/ligament ( = 0.001) and bone injury ( = 0.010) compared to the advanced athletes. Torsion/twisting (32.8%) and deceleration (26.9%) were the most common mechanism of injury. Beginner athletes experienced injuries more due to insufficient skill ( = 0.03), while the advanced athletes were likely to have more injuries by the loss of control ( = 0.01). Collegiate athletes had higher rates of chronic pain in the trunk (42.7%) and skeletal muscle (43.8%), and they participated in stretching/exercise (40.8%) and massage/form rolling (29.6%) to manage their chronic pain. The present study revealed that injury rates in males and females were 49.7% and 50.2%, respectively. Female athletes were more likely to have a nerve injury than male athletes. The mechanics and cause of injuries were different by the level of experiences where different training approaches may be required to minimize the injuries. Additionally, the strength and conditioning program that is systematically designed for core strength is needed to eliminate chronic trunk pain in collegiate water-skiing athletes.