Back pain and knee pain most prevalent injuries in recreational cyclists
Two articles on PainSci cite Clarsen 2010: 1. The Complete Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome 2. Diagnosing Runner’s Knee
PainSci notes on Clarsen 2010:
This study of pro cyclists found that low back pain and anterior knee pain were their most prevalent overuse injuries, consistent with anecdotal reports. 36% of the cyclists had anterior knee pain within the last year, 20% of them badly enough to seek care, and 9% missed competitions because of it. Low back pain afflicted 58%, with 41% seeking medical attention.
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: Little epidemiological information exists on overuse injuries in elite road cyclists. Anecdotal reports indicate anterior knee pain and lower back pain may be common problems.
PURPOSE: This study was conducted to register overuse injuries among professional road cyclists with special focus on anterior knee and lower back pain.
STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive epidemiology study.
METHODS: We attended training camps of 7 professional teams and interviewed 109 of 116 cyclists (94%) on overuse injuries they had experienced in the previous 12 months. Injuries that required attention from medical personnel or involved time loss from cycling were registered. Additional information on anterior knee pain and lower back pain was collected using specific questionnaires.
RESULTS: A total of 94 injuries were registered; 45% were in the lower back and 23% in the knee. Twenty-three time-loss injuries were registered-57% in the knee, 22% in the lower back, and 13% in the lower leg. Fifty-eight percent of all cyclists had experienced lower back pain in the previous 12 months, and 41% of all cyclists had sought medical attention for it. Thirty-six percent had experienced anterior knee pain and 19% had sought medical attention for it. Few cyclists had missed competitions because of pain in the lower back (6%) or anterior knee (9%).
CONCLUSION: Lower back pain and anterior knee pain were the most prevalent overuse injuries, with knee injuries most likely to cause time loss and lower back pain causing the highest rates of functional impairment and medical attention.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Future efforts to prevent overuse injuries in competitive cyclists should focus on lower back pain and anterior knee pain.
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