An injury profile and management analysis of marathon runners at selected marathons in the great eThekwini and uMgungundlovu Municipalities during 2014
Van Niekerk, Giselle
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Background: Running injuries are increasingly common as participation in this sport increases. Health care providers need to be better able to treat and manage these injuries and prevent their recurrence. Thus, there is a need for profiles of different population groups to enable the development of health promotion and injury prevention strategies. This research study profiled and tracked runners over seven marathons held in the eThekwini and uMgungundlovu Municipalities during the first quarter of 2014. Methods: This Durban University of Technology, Institutional Research and Ethics Committee approved retrospective Chiropractic Treatment Facility record analysis, analysed 741 recorded marathon visits. The records were based on a previously validated data collection tool (CSSA questionnaire) that allowed clinical data to be captured relating to patient demographics, anatomical site of the complaint, clinical impression, diagnosis and treatment. These fields were analysed for each visit, and then captured in SPSS version 22 with records only being excluded because they were unsigned. Descriptive and inferential statistics (McNemar’s tests) were compiled and a p-value of 0.05 was used. Results: The majority of the runners were Black males of approximately 40 years of age. A total of 95.6% of runners presented with overuse injuries, of which 73.6% and 89.3% had no history of previous injury or trauma respectively, and with 94.7% being able to continue participation. The shin and calf (21.7%), thigh (21.6%) and lumbar regions (16.1%) were most commonly affected by injuries which were predominantly muscle strains (23.2%) and SI syndrome (21.4%). These injuries were treated by manipulation (82.8%), massage (57.2%) and PNF stretching (33.6%). With runners that presented at subsequent marathons, a significant difference (McNemar’s p=0.013) in history of previous injury between the first and second marathon was found, with the runner being more likely to report a history of previous injury at their second marathon visit. Specific trends, although not significant, were found for specific subgroups (defined by age, gender, ethnicity, history of previous injury / trauma and chronicity of the diagnoses). Conclusion: The data is not dissimilar to the literature on running injuries, although specific trends in terms of sub categories were noted. These trends require further investigation through prospective, longitudinal studies.