A Comparison of Factors Associated with Running-Related Injuries between Adult and Adolescent Runners.
DeJong Lempke AF, Collins SE, Whitney KE, D’Hemecourt PA, Meehan WP.
Background: There are multiple personal and environmental factors that influence the risk of developing running-related injuries (RRIs). However, it is unclear how these key clinical factors differ between adult and adolescent runners.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare anthropometric, training, and self-reported outcomes among adult and adolescent runners with and without lower extremity musculoskeletal RRIs.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Methods: Questionnaire responses and clinical assessment data were extracted from 38 adult runners (F: 25, M: 13; median age: 23 [range 18-36]) and 91 adolescent runners (F: 56, M: 35; median age: 15 [range 14-16]) who underwent a physical injury prevention evaluation at a hospital-affiliated sports injury prevention center between 2013 and 2021. Participants were sub-grouped into those with (adults: 25; adolescents: 38) and those without (adults: 13; adolescents: 53) a history of self-reported RRIs based on questionnaire responses. Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) covarying for gender were conducted to compare outcomes across groups.
Results: Adult runners had lower Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS™) scores (mean differences [MD]: -1.4, p=0.01), were more likely to report intentional weight-loss to improve athletic performance (% difference: 33.0%; p:<.001), and more frequently included resistance training into their training routines (% difference: 21.0%, p=0.01) compared to adolescents. Those with a history of RRIs were more likely to report intentional weight-loss compared to uninjured runners (% difference: 21.3; p=0.02) and had shorter single leg bridge durations than those without RRIs (RRI: 57.9±30, uninjured: 72.0±44, p=0.01).
Conclusion: The findings indicate that addressing aspects of biomechanics identified by the FMS™ and behaviors of weight loss as an effort to improve performance may represent targets for the prevention of RRIs for adult and adolescent runners, given the association with history of RRIs.
Level of Evidence: 3