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Jessica R. Fairbairn and Kellie C. Huxel Bliven

Clinical Scenario: Until recently, injury epidemiology data on elite Paralympic athletes were limited. Current data suggest high rates of shoulder injury in wheelchair athletes. Differences in shoulder injury rates between sports have not been reported in this population. Clinical Question: Is the incidence of shoulder injury in elite wheelchair athletes different between sports? Summary of Key Findings: Shoulder injury rates are high in elite wheelchair athletes, particularly in sports such as field events and fencing that require a stable base (eg, trunk, core control) from which to perform. Wheelchair racing requires repetitive motions that contribute to shoulder injuries, but rates are lower than field sports and fencing. Wheelchair curling and sledge hockey have low shoulder injury risk. Clinical Bottom Line: Shoulder injury rates vary based on sport in elite wheelchair athletes. In addition to incorporating shoulder complex specific rehabilitation for overuse shoulder injuries, clinicians should focus on core and trunk stabilization in elite wheelchair athletes competing in sports, such as field events and fencing. Strength of Recommendation: Grade C evidence exists that reports shoulder injury rates among elite wheelchair athletes differ based on sport participation.