Musculoskeletal Injuries in Competitive Rowers

Francisco Bernardes, Alfredo Mendes-Castro, José Ramos, Ovídio Costa


Introduction: The objective of this study was the assessment of the injuries occurred over the competitive rowing lifetime of Portuguese senior rowers.
Material and Methods: We sent a questionnaire to all Portuguese senior rowers medalled in the national championships during the 2013-2014 season. We analysed biometric variables, anatomic location, type and circumstances of injury occurrence, type of treatment provided and time of inactivity. For statistical analysis we used parametric and non-parametric statistics with 95% confidence levels (p < 0.05).
Results: The questionnaire was answered by 18 of the 18 female and 74 of the 77 male rowers. Females had significantly lower ages, heights and weights and rowed more often sculling boats (p < 0.05). The number of years of practice, as well as the number of injuries per rower was similar, for both females and males. The mean age at the first injury was significantly lower in females (p < 0.001), who also had more progressive lesions than acute ones, although not significantly. In both, the most frequent anatomical location and type of injury were the lumbar region and muscular pathology, with a higher occurrence in winter and spring, during land training. Females
sustained longer periods of inactivity, but not significantly.
Discussion: The results that were different from those reported by other authors may be related with differences in the studied populations or with other factors that need to be clarified.
Conclusion: The injuries sustained by the Portuguese competitive rowers, probably associated with a lower competitive exposure of our athletes, were less severe than those generally reported in the literature.


Athletic Injuries; Musculoskeletal System/injuries; Portugal.

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