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Many college athlete injuries from overuse

April 13, 2012 at 9:38 PM

EAST LANSING, Mich., April 13 (UPI) -- Sixty-two percent of overuse injuries in college athletes occurred in women -- after long training sessions or from repetitive movements, U.S. researchers say.

Study co-author Tracey Covassin, a certified athletic trainer at Michigan State University, said overuse injuries tend to occur gradually and are caused by repeated small injuries, without a single, identifiable event responsible for the injury, in sports such as long-distance running, rowing and swimming.

By comparison, injuries occurring in high-speed and full-body-contact sports are more likely to be acute injuries, which result from a specific and identifiable event.

The study sample consisted of 573 male and female collegiate athletes from an NCAA Division I institution participating in 16 team sports. Study participants reported 1,317 injuries during a three-year period.

The study published in the Journal of Athletic Training said of total injuries, 29.3 percent were overuse injuries and 70.7 percent were acute.

A total of 319 male athletes sustained 705 injuries, and 254 female athletes sustained 612 injuries, the study said.

Wrestling, football, women's soccer and other contact sports were associated with a higher acute injury risk; while overuse injuries were found more frequently in rowing, softball, volleyball, cross country, track and field and other low-contact sports.

However, women's field hockey, soccer, softball and volleyball had the highest rates of overuse-injury rates, Covassin said.

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