Acute and overuse injuries of Swiss orienteering athletes

Roos, Lilian; Taube, Wolfgang; Züst, Peter; Clénin, German A.; Wyss, Thomas (2015). Acute and overuse injuries of Swiss orienteering athletes (Unpublished). In: Congress of the European College of Sport Science. Malmö. 24.-27. June 2015.

In the final ranking of the International Orienteering Federation World Cup 2014 Switzerland was classified as the best nation with 5 women in the top 12 and 7 men in the top 15. A great part of the weekly orienteering training is performed as endurance running training. However, a high weekly running mileage puts considerable stress on the athlete’s musculoskeletal system (Jones et al., 1994). A consequence thereof are acute and overuse injuries. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the injury incidence rate and injury pattern in Swiss elite orienteering athletes. Methods The injury data were collected retrospectively for the years 2005-2014 from volunteering, current and former, athletes of the Swiss Orienteering Federation. The athletes’ medical records were used to classify injuries according to the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System (OSICS version 10.1). The training data were collected from the athletes’ digital training diary and matched for age. The data are presented as mean ± standard deviation, proportions of injuries by anatomical region, type and onset of injuries. Results The data of 30 athletes aged 22±3.2 years (range 18-30), were recorded. A total of 175 injuries were assessed. The most commonly affected anatomical region was the lower extremity (92.6%). Thereof, the knee (29.1%), the lower leg (20.0%) and the foot (18.9%) were injured most. The most common types of injury were pain and/or inflammation (65.1%), sprains (11.4%) and dislocations (9.1%). Almost two thirds (61.1%) of all injuries were classified as overuse injuries. About a third of injuries (28.6%) resulted in training days lost. The mean injury incidence risk for athletes aged 18-23 years was 3.1±3.1 injuries per 1000 training hours. No significant relation between training volume (380.8±77.1 hours per year) and injury risk was found. Discussion A high amount of running based training is a risk factor for musculoskeletal injuries. This was confirmed in the present study with the great amount of lower extremities injuries, most of them due to overuse onset. Previous studies with recreational runners reported 2.5-12.1 and 10.0 injuries per 1000 hours of training, and the knee as the most commonly affected region (van Mechelen, 1992; Hespanhol Jr., et al. 2013). Concluding, the Swiss elite orienteers display a rather low injury incidence rate within the former reported range, and further, the injury patterns are in line with previous results. References Hespanhol Jr., LC., Pena Costa, LO., Lopes, AD. (2013). J Physiother, 59(4):263-269. Jones, BH., Cowan, DN., Knapik, JJ. (1994). Sports Med, 18(3):202-214. van Mechelen, W. (1992). Sports Med, 14(5):320-335.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Lehre und Sportpädagogik > Monitoring


Roos, Lilian;
Taube, Wolfgang;
Züst, Peter;
Clénin, German A. and
Wyss, Thomas




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Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2022 16:13

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2022 10:41

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Monitoring Sport Orienteering


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