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Title: An injury profile of musculoskeletal injuries in mountain bikers in the eThekwini Municipality
Authors: Van Eck, Rochelle 
Keywords: Mountain biking;Mountain bikers;Musculoskeletal injuries;Road cyclists
Issue Date: 29-Sep-2022
Background: Mountain biking is a sport that appeals to men and women who enjoy
an adrenalin rush. It is practised on any terrain classified as ‘off-road’ such as gravel
roads, sugar cane fields, farmland, mountainous areas, and forests. It involves riding
over rough and tricky terrain with a mountain bike and has become a global
phenomenon among many athletes of all fitness levels. The popularity of this sport has
grown as it is well known for its health benefits, family participation, recreational
enjoyment, its ability to enhance overall fitness, and the fact that it offers those who
are driven opportunities to be highly competitive. However, as is the case with any
competitive and recreational sport, mountain bikers are prone to suffering a unique set
of injuries. Mountain bikers want to recover and get back on their bikes as soon as
possible, but there is a paucity of literature on the injury profile of mountain bikers in
South Africa, hence recovery strategies may not always have the desired results.
Aim: The aim of this study was to establish the injury profile of the musculoskeletal
injuries that mountain bikers sustain, with special focus on those enthusiasts in the
eThekwini municipality of KwaZulu-Natal, while the risk factors associated with this
sport were also explored.
Methodology: Participants were recruited at cycling clubs, after training sessions
when they gathered in coffee shops, and individually at mountain bike parks. Before
completing the questionnaire, each participant was required to read a letter of
information and sign an informed consent form. Informed consent and post-pilot study
questionnaires were completed, gathered, and deposited into separate sealed boxes.
Each questionnaire was given a code for statistical analysis before data were captured
on a spreadsheet.
Results: A total of 175 questionnaires were received and the data were statistically
analysed. The results revealed that not applying any preventative measures when
training for this sport was the main causative factor of injuries among mountain bikers
in the eThekwini Municipality. The majority of the injuries occurred in white males
between the ages of 45 to 50 years and in participants who practised this sport for more than 12 hours a week. The most common areas of the body that sustained
injuries were shoulders, legs, knees, and wrists, while the most common types of
injuries were bruises, cuts, and sprains. The predominant mechanisms that caused
these injuries were falls and contact with stationary objects.
Conclusion: The findings that emerged from the data were consistent with the
literature on mountain biking, but it must be mentioned that the injuries that were
described related to earlier studies that had been conducted among either international
mountain bikers or road cyclists. The current study’s findings are distinctive of the
eThekwini Municipal area in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Additional studies need to
be conducted in other provinces of South Africa in order to create a more accurate
injury profile associated with the mountain biking sport in this country.
This work is submitted in partial compliance with the requirements for the
Master’s degree in Technology: Chiropractic at the Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2021.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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