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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2004 Jan;12(1):80-5. Epub 2003 Oct 3.

Back injuries and pain in adolescents attending a ski high school.

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Junkerveien 12, 1367 Snarøya, Norway.


This study compared overuse injuries, small abnormalities, and pain alone in different types of skiing and activity levels. Subjects were 45 ski high school athletes aged 15-19 years. We found the back and knees significantly more prone to activity-related injuries and pain than other body regions. Thirty subjects (67%) had low back pain on the first examination, and 17 had pain caused by overuse of the back. This was more frequent among active, young competitive boys in the cross-country skiing group, with mature height less than 99%, than among noncompetitive boys in the same group or among the alpine skiers. Neck pain was reported only by girls. Eight subjects had low back pain related to small abnormalities. The subjects were given counseling about training and physiotherapy. The 1-year follow-up found a significant reduction in back pain due to overuse injuries (from 17 to 3 subjects) and indistinct neck pain (from 10 to 2) but no reduction in pain in those with small abnormalities in the low back. Low back pain was common in young athletes, particularly in cross-country skiers. Excessively rapid progression of training and faulty technique increased back pain complaints from 36% when entering the school to 67% at the first examination. A proper evaluation and treatment of overuse injuries and accurate counseling of training types, volume, and progression reduced the low back pain problems to 29% of subjects 1 year later in spite of a maintained high activity level. A minimum entrance requirement to conditioning seems mandatory for students attending a ski high school.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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