Research Output
An epidemiological study of injury and illness in the British Skeleton Squad 2009 -2013
  Background Injury and illness prevention can have not only
athlete health benefits but also potential positive performance
gains in elite sport. Valid injury/illness surveillance data is needed
in the first step towards prevention.
Objective Provide injury/illness epidemiology information on the
British Skeleton squad.
Design Longitudinal prospective surveillance study, recording
injury/illness, and training/competition exposure data. Definitions
for injury/illness, time-loss and performance-restriction were used
to identify the rate and severity of athlete injuries/illnesses.
Setting British skeleton national training centre, including domestic
and international training/competition venues between 2009–
2013 (4 seasons).
Participants 21 (14 male; 7 female) National team athletes.
Interventions Standardised report forms for injuries/illnesses
were completed by medical, and competition/training exposure by
coaching, support staff.
Main outcome measure Injury/illness rate, severity and causes.
Results There were 49 training (4.3/1000 athlete training hrs)
and 10 competition (14/100 competition starts) injuries, with 10
days and 3 days lost per injury, respectively. Injuries to the thigh
(41%), followed by knee and lumbar spine (20% each) were most
common, with 4, 13, and 14 days lost per injury, respectively.
Muscle strain was the most common type of injury (36%), and
lesion of meniscus/disc the most severe (36d), the latter also
causing the greatest burden. The most common cause of injury
was push start strides and upright sprinting, all resulting in thigh
(posterior) muscle strain injuries. There were 16 illnesses (40%
squad seasonal prevalence; severity 4d) and respiratory was the
most common illness type (80%), occurring most frequently
around periods of high training volume, competition and travel.
Conclusions Prevention initiatives focussed on thigh and lumbar
spine injuries, and also illnesses around competitive periods in the
season may be beneficial in reducing the number of athlete days
lost to training/competition.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 April 2014

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  • Library of Congress:

    RC1200 Sports Medicine

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    790 Sports, games & entertainment

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Palmer-Green, D., Thomas, H., Danny, H., Chris, P., Kay, R., Rod, J., & Glenn, H. (2014, April). An epidemiological study of injury and illness in the British Skeleton Squad 2009 -2013. Poster presented at IOC International Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport



Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation; Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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