Musculoskeletal pain in wheelchair basketball players of different point classifications, in South Africa


Background:Wheelchair basketball has gained worldwide popularity over recent years. Several studies have demonstrated a high prevalence of injuries amongst wheelchair basketball players. Few studies, however, have investigated prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in the context of different point classifications – an integral part of wheelchairsport. Objectives:The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in wheelchair basketball players of different point classifications in South Africaand to provide information on patterns of pain distribution in relation to point classification. Methods:Forty-eight wheelchair basketball players, participating in the Supersport League Games of South South Africa, with point classifications ranging from 1.0 to 4.5, completed a questionnaire. The results were used to determine the patterns of musculoskeletal pain distribution in relation to the different point classifications.  Results:Forty-three completed questionnaires were analysed. The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain was 58.14% (n=25). Shoulder pain had the highest overall prevalence regardless of point classification (n=23; 92% since the start of players wheelchair basketball careers and n=19; 76% over the last 12 months). It was found that lower point (1.0-2.5) players commonly experienced arm pain since the start of their wheelchair basketball careers (ƞ=0.358), as well as specifically over the last 12 months (ƞ=0.319) unlike higher point (3.0-4.5) players.Discussion and conclusion:The study contextualises the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain to point classification in wheelchair basketball. Such data is important in informing injury prevention strategies, as disabled athletes are predisposed to different types of musculoskeletal pain based on point classification.

key words: disabled sport, prevalence, injury prevention

Author Biography

J Pillay

Basic Medical Sciences; Senior Lecturer

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