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Injuries in rock climbing: An epidemiological study of the Swedish climber population
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Environmental Sciences.
2008 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Objective.

The popularity of rock climbing is increasing worldwide, both as a recreational physical activity and as a competitive sport. By its nature, rock climbing is associated with injury risks. We aimed to examine typical injury patterns in a representative sample from a total population of climbers.



Material and methods.

A mail survey was distributed to a random sample consisting of 10 % of the Swedish Climbing Association membership (597/6067 persons). Self-reported information about climbing history, safety practices, and retrospective accounts of injury events were obtained.



Results.

The annual incidence of overuse injuries was 280/1000 climber years. Inflammatory tissue damage to the fingers and wrists were most common injury types. Men and climbers practising bouldering or sport climbing reported more overuse injuries. The incidence of acute injuries was considerably lower (25/1000 climber years). Men were represented twice as often as women in this group. Twenty-four percent of climbers reporting overuse injuries also suffered an incident or acute injury that same year. The largest number of acute injuries occurred during traditional climbing. These injuries were commonly localised to the feet and ankles. The most frequent cause reported to explain the acute injuries was the human factor, i.e. mistakes or lapses.



Discussion and conclusions.

Overuse injuries are common among climbers, while acute injuries are less common but can lead to long absence from climbing. Both types of injuries can be reduced by focussed prevention programs. While overuse injuries can be reduced by a better balance between climbing activity and rest, systematic information about safety practices and participation in mandatory first aid and climbing rescue courses can reduce acute injuries and their consequences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
Keywords [en]
Rock climbing, general climbing population, associated risk factors, climbing injury, safety practices
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-20397OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-20397DiVA, id: diva2:594057
Conference
Studien kommer att presenteras vid 9th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, March 15-18, Merida, Mexico 2008
Note

Distrubution: Oral presentation at 9th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, March 15-18, Merida, Mexico 2008

Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21

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Backe, Stefan

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf