Background: Participating in health related physical activity (PA) may increase risk for musculoskeletal injury (MSI).
Purpose: To estimate the prevalence of structural/biomechanical risk factors in community-dwelling women and associated risk for incidence of MSI in women who are physically active.
Methods: The Women's Injury (WIN) Study is a surveillance of PA behaviors and MSI in women aged 20 to 83 years. An orthopedic examination was performed prior to entry into the study to assess presence of structural/biomechanical risk factors. 886 women completed data collection by reporting weekly PA behavior and MSI for up to 3 years (2007-2009) with the average participant enrolled for 98 weeks. To estimate MSI risk associated with each risk factor separately, time to first MSI was modeled using proportional hazards regression with time-dependent PA covariates, controlling for age, body mass index (BMI) and previous injury.
Results: Over the course of the study, 236 of the women (26.6%) reported at least one MSI that was PA related. We found a significant association between number of high flexibility risk factors and PA- related injury at all levels of PA exposure (HR = 1.15; CI = 1.04-1.27 for moderate to vigorous (MVPA); HR = 1.16; CI = 1.05-1.28 for moderate PA; HR = 1.15; CI = 1.04-1.27 for vigorous PA).
Conclusions: When participating at any level of PA for health benefits, women with hypermobility in multiple muscle groups or joints should be watchful for musculoskeletal symptoms and should be counseled not to ignore symptoms when they first occur.
(C) 2014 American College of Sports Medicine