Gradual-onset surfing injuries in New Zealand : a retrospective epidemiological study
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Citation:Remnant, D. (2017). Gradual-onset surfing injuries in New Zealand: a retrospective epidemiological study. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4420
OBJECTIVES: Gradual-onset injuries associated with surfing have not previously been closely examined. Therefore, the objective of this retrospective cross-sectional survey was to investigate the self-reported types, body locations, and mechanisms of gradual-onset injuries in a sample of New Zealand surfers. METHODS: Self-identified surfers currently residing in New Zealand completed an online questionnaire about gradual-onset surfing-related injuries they had experienced in the preceding 12 months. RESULTS: Respondents (n=1473, age range 8–78 years) reported 550 gradual-onset major injuries, of which 44% were classified as acute and 56% chronic. The crude incident rate was 1.72/1000 surfing hours, and injury prevalence was 27%. The shoulder (146 injuries, 64% chronic), lower-back (115 injuries) and neck (105 injuries) were the most commonly reported injury locations. Musculoskeletal soft tissues were the most injured structures, with 58% being muscle and tendons. Paddling was the most commonly reported mechanism of injury, particularly prolonged paddling (40% of all injuries). The injury prevalence for gradual-onset major injuries was higher for greater surfing abilities compared to lower abilities (p=0.01), and long-boarders compared to short-boarders (p=0.001). Respondents reporting any surfing injury, compared to those not, had more years surfing experience (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The most common gradual-onset surfing injuries were shoulder, lower back and neck musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries, most frequently arising from paddling. Long-boarding engendered greater injury risk than short-boarding. Given these findings, prospectively designed studies would be beneficial to further understand surfing injury epidemiology and to inform injury prevention initiatives.