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Quantifying the Burden of Shoulder and Hip Pain In Water Polo Players Across Different Playing Levels

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posted on 12.04.2021, 01:53 by Michael Girdwood, Marilyn Webster

Background

Water polo is characterised by unique skills and movements with high demands of both the upper and lower limb. There is growing recognition of the problems of shoulder and hip/groin symptoms in this population.

Purpose

To quantify the prevalence of shoulder and hip/groin pain in water polo players, and to describe how performance and participation were impacted. Secondary aims investigated whether demographic or training variables were associated with levels of symptoms.

Design

In-season, cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Methods

An online questionnaire was distributed to all adult levels of the Australian water polo community. Participants were asked about demographic and playing history, and then specific injury history at both the shoulder and hip/groin. Each respondent completed an Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre (OSTRC) overuse injury questionnaire for the shoulder and hip/groin. Point prevalence and past history were calculated, as well as a morbidity score from OSTRC responses. Risk ratios were used to determine differences between playing levels and sex.

Results

One hundred, fifty-three respondents completed the questionnaire (57% female). High rates of shoulder pain were reported (38.1% current, 81.2% past history), as well as hip/groin pain (33.1% current, 60.4% past history). Current shoulder pain was a risk factor for hip/groin pain (RR 1.99 (95%CI 1.27-3.12), and hip/groin pain was a risk factor for shoulder pain (RR 1.70 (95%CI 1.23-2.35). Elite-level athletes had higher prevalence (RR 1.87 [95%CI 1.01-3.46]) and past history of hip/groin pain (RR 1.76 [95%CI 1.32-2.36]).

Conclusions

This is the first study to quantify high self-reported levels of hip/groin pain in water polo athletes. Such high levels may be explained by high amounts of eggbeater kick, especially during skeletal development in adolescence. Shoulder pain continues to be the most common source of injury burden in water polo. Future research should determine whether any modifiable risk factors exist that may reduce the burden of injury in this population.

Level of evidence

2b.

History

Publication Date

01/02/2021

Journal

International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy

Volume

16

Issue

1

Pagination

p. 57-63

Publisher

North American Sports Medicine Institute

ISSN

2159-2896

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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