University of Oulu

Ristolainen, L., Toivo, K., Parkkari, J., Kokko, S., Alanko, L., Heinonen, O. J., Korpelainen, R., Savonen, K., Selänne, H., Vasankari, T., Kannas, L., Villberg, J., Kujala, U. M., Acute and overuse injuries among sports club members and non-members: the Finnish Health Promoting Sports Club (FHPSC) study, 2019, Bmc musculoskeletal disorders, 1471-2474, Vol 20, Article number: 32, DOI: 10.1186/s12891-019-2417-3

Acute and overuse injuries among sports club members and non-members : the Finnish Health Promoting Sports Club (FHPSC) study

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Author: Ristolainen, L.1; Toivo, K.2; Parkkari, J.2;
Organizations: 1Orton Orthopaedic Hospital, Orton, Helsinki, Finland
2Tampere Research Center of Sports Medicine, Tampere, Finland
3Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
4Sports Medicine Clinic, Foundation for Sports and Exercise Clinic, Helsinki, Finland
5Paavo Nurmi Centre & Department of Physical Activity and Health, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
6Oulu Deaconess Institute, Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu, Finland
7Medical Research Center Oulu Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
8Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, Kuopio, Finland
10Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
11Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
12UKK Institute of Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-14


Background: Physical activity in adolescence is promoted for its multi-dimensional health benefits. However, too intensive sports participation is associated with an increased injury risk. Our aim was to compare the occurrence of acute and overuse injuries in Finnish sports club members and non-members and to report training and competing habits associated with a higher injury risk in sports club members.

Methods: In this cross-sectional survey targeted at 14–16-year-old adolescents, a structured questionnaire was completed by 1077 sports club members and 812 non-members. The main outcome measures were self-reported acute and overuse injuries, their location and type.

Results: At least one acute injury in the past year was reported by 44.0% of sports club members and 19.8% of non-members (P < 0.001). The sex-adjusted odds ratio (OR) for acute injury in sports club members compared to non-members was 3.13 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.54–3.87). Thirty-five percent of sports club members and 17.4% of non-members (P < 0.001) reported at least one overuse injury during the past year. The overuse injury OR for sports club members was 2.61 (95% CI 2.09–3.26). Sports club members who trained 7–14 h per week during training (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.21–2.12, P = 0.001) or competition season (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.18–2.06, P = 0.002) were more likely to report an injury compared to members who trained 3–6 h per week. Those sports club members who participated in forty competitions or more compared to 7–19 competitions per year were more likely to report an acute injury (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.05–2.08, P = 0.028) or for an overuse injury (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.02–2.30, P = 0.038).

Conclusions: Both acute and overuse injuries are common among youth sports club members, and the number increases along with increasing amounts of training and competitions. More effective injury prevention is needed both for adolescents engaging in sports club activities and for other adolescents.

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Series: BMC musculoskeletal disorders
ISSN: 1471-2474
ISSN-E: 1471-2474
ISSN-L: 1471-2474
Volume: 20
Article number: 32
DOI: 10.1186/s12891-019-2417-3
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 315 Sport and fitness sciences
Funding: This study was funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (grant number: 6/091/2011).
Copyright information: © The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.