Advertisement

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 1540–1546 | Cite as

Prevalence of joint-related pain in the extremities and spine in five groups of top athletes

  • Pall Jonasson
  • Klas Halldin
  • Jon Karlsson
  • Olof Thoreson
  • Jonas Hvannberg
  • Leif Swärd
  • Adad BarantoEmail author
Sports Medicine

Abstract

Purpose

Joint-related pain conditions from the spine and extremities are common among top athletes. The frequency of back pain has, however, been studied in more detail, and the frequency of low-back pain in top athletes in different high-load sports has been reported to be as high as 85%. Sport-related pain from different joints in the extremities is, however, infrequently reported on in the literature.

Methods

Seventy-five male athletes, i.e. divers, weight-lifters, wrestlers, orienteers and ice-hockey players and 12 non-athletes (control group) were included in the study. A specific self-assessed pain-oriented questionnaire related to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, as well as the various joints, i.e. shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles, was filled out by the athletes and the non-athletes.

Results

The overall frequency of pain reported by the athletes during the last week/last year was as follows; cervical spine 35/55%; thoracic spine 22/33%; lumbar spine 50/68%; shoulder 10/21%; elbow 7/7%; wrist 7/8%; hip 15/23%; knee 22/44%; and ankle 11/25%. The corresponding values for non-athletes were cervical spine 9/36%; thoracic spine 17/33%; lumbar spine 36/50%; shoulder 0/9%; elbow 9/0%; wrist 0/0%; hip 9/16%; knee 10/9%; and ankle 0/0%. A higher percentage of athletes reported pain in almost all joint regions, but there were no statistically significant differences (n.s.), with the exception of the knees (P = 0.05).

Over the last year, athletes reporting the highest pain frequency in the lumbar spine were ice-hockey players and, in the cervical spine, wrestlers and ice-hockey players. The highest levels of knee pain were found among wrestlers and ice-hockey players, whereas the highest levels for wrist pain were found among divers, hip pain among weight-lifters, orienteers and divers and ankle pain among orienteers. For the thoracic spine, shoulder and elbow regions, only minor differences were found.

Conclusion

There was no statistically significant difference in prevalence of pain in the neck, spine and joints between top athletes in different sports or between athletes and non-athletes. However, pain in one spinal region was correlated to reported pain in other regions of the spine. Moreover, pain in the spine was also correlated to pain in the shoulders, hips and knees.

Level of evidence

Prognostic case–control study, Level III.

Keywords

Athletes Spine Shoulder Elbow Hip Knee Ankle and injuries 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the financial support of The Medical Society of Gothenburg, Sweden, and The Research Council of the Swedish Sports Confederation, Swedish Society of Spinal Surgeons/4S, Anna and Edwin Berg’s Foundation and government grants under the ALF/LUA agreement.

References

  1. 1.
    Adkins SB, Figler RA (2000) Hip pain in athletes. Am Fam Physician 61:2109–2118PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bahr R, Andersen SO, Loken S et al (2004) Low back pain among endurance athletes with and without specific back loading—a cross-sectional survey of cross-country skiers, rowers, orienteerers, and nonathletic controls. Spine 29:449–454PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baranto A, Hellstrom M, Cederlund CG et al (2009) Back pain and MRI changes in the thoraco-lumbar spine of top athletes in four different sports: a 15-year follow-up study. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 17:1125–1134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baranto A, Hellström M, Nyman R et al (2006) Back pain and degenerative abnormalities in the spine of young elite divers: a 5-year follow-up magnetic resonance imaging study. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 14:907–914PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bizzini M, Notzli HP, Maffiuletti NA (2007) Femoroacetabular impingement in professional ice hockey players: a case series of 5 athletes after open surgical decompression of the hip. Am J Sports Med 35:1955–1959PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyd KT, Peirce NS, Batt ME (1997) Common hip injuries in sport. Sports Med 24:273–288PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Burns SA, Mintken PE, and Austin GP (2010) Clinical decision making in a patient with secondary hip-spine syndrome. Physiother Theory Pract: PMCID 20795876Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Collins MS (2008) Imaging evaluation of chronic ankle and hindfoot pain in athletes. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am 16:39–58PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    de Loes M, Dahlstedt LJ, Thomee R (2000) A 7-year study on risks and costs of knee injuries in male and female youth participants in 12 sports. Scand J Med Sci Sports 10:90–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Edeeson J, Nathan H (1994) Meralgia paresthetica in children. J Bone Joint Surg Am 76:993–999Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Eriksson K, Nemeth G, Eriksson E (1996) Low back pain in elite cross-country skiers. A retrospective epidemiological study. Scand J Med Sci Sports 6:31–35PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fairbank JC, Couper J, Davies JB et al (1980) The Oswestry low back pain disability questionnaire. Physiotherapy 66:271–273PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Felson DT (1998) Preventing knee and hip osteoarthritis. Bull Rheum Dis 47:1–4PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ferretti A, Cerullo G, Russo G (1987) Suprascapular neuropathy in volleyball players. J Bone Joint Surg Am 69:260–263PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Field LD, Altchek DW (1995) Elbow injuries. Clin Sports Med 14:59–78PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Field LD, Savoie FH (1998) Common elbow injuries in sport. Sports Med 26:193–205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fogel GR, Esses SI (2003) Hip spine syndrome: management of coexisting radiculopathy and arthritis of the lower extremity. Spine J 3:238–241PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gehrmann RM, Rajan S, Patel DV et al (2005) Athletes’ ankle injuries: diagnosis and management. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ) 34:551–561Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Giza E, Micheli LJ (2005) Soccer injuries. Med Sport Sci 49:140–169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Group E (1990) EuroQol—a new facility for the measurement of health-related quality of life. Health Policy 16:199–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Harris-Hayes M, Sahrmann SA, Van Dillen LR (2009) Relationship between the hip and low back pain in athletes who participate in rotation-related sports. J Sport Rehabil 18:60–75PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Harvey J, Tanner S (1991) Low back pain in young athletes. A practical approach. Sports Med 12:394–406PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Holzgraefe M, Kukowski B, Eggert S (1994) Prevalence of latent and manifest suprascapular neuropathy in high-performance volleyball players. Br J Sports Med 28:177–179PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jackson DW (1979) Low back pain in young athletes: evaluation of stress reaction and discogenic problems. Am J Sports Med 7:364–366PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Keogh MJ, Batt ME (2008) A review of femoroacetabular impingement in athletes. Sports Med 38:863–878PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kujala UM, Kvist M, Osterman K (1986) Knee injuries in athletes. Review of exertion injuries and retrospective study of outpatient sports clinic material. Sports Med 3:447–460PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kujala UM, Taimela S, Erkintalo M et al (1996) Low-back pain in adolescent athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 28:165–170PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lajtai G, Pfirrmann CW, Aitzetmuller G et al (2009) The shoulders of professional beach volleyball players: high prevalence of infraspinatus muscle atrophy. Am J Sports Med 37:1375–1383PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lane NE, Oehlert JW, Bloch DA et al (1998) The relationship of running to osteoarthritis of the knee and hip and bone mineral density of the lumbar spine: a 9 year longitudinal study. J Rheumatol 25:334–341PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lundin O, Hellström M, Nilsson I et al (2001) Back pain and radiological changes in the thoraco-lumbar spine of athletes. A long-term follow-up. Scand J Med Sci Sports 11:103–109PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Majewski M, Susanne H, Klaus S (2006) Epidemiology of athletic knee injuries: a 10-year study. Knee 13:184–188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Micheli LJ, Metzl JD, Di Canzio J et al (1999) Anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery in adolescent soccer and basketball players. Clin J Sport Med 9:138–141PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Pommering TL, Kluchurosky L, Hall SL (2005) Ankle and foot injuries in pediatric and adult athletes. Prim Care 32:133–161PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sassmannshausen G, Smith BG (2002) Back pain in the young athlete. Clin Sports Med 21:121–132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sink EL, Gralla J, Ryba A et al (2008) Clinical presentation of femoroacetabular impingement in adolescents. J Pediatr Orthop 28:806–811PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Swärd L, Hellström M, Jacobsson B et al (1990) Acute injury of the vertebral ring apophysis and intervertebral disc in adolescent gymnasts. Spine 15:144–148PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Swärd L, Hellström M, Jacobsson B et al (1991) Disc degeneration and associated abnormalities of the spine in elite gymnasts. A magnetic resonance imaging study. Spine 16:437–443PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Swärd L, Hellström M, Jacobsson B et al (1990) Back pain and radiologic changes in the thoraco-lumbar spine of athletes. Spine 15:124–129PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wilkerson LA (1992) Ankle injuries in athletes. Prim Care 19:377–392PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Villavicencio AT, Burneikiene S, Hernandez TD et al (2006) Back and neck pain in triathletes. Neurosurg Focus 21:E7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Villavicencio AT, Hernandez TD, Burneikiene S et al (2007) Neck pain in multisport athletes. J Neurosurg Spine 7:408–413PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Vingard E, Alfredsson L, Malchau H (1998) Osteoarthrosis of the hip in women and its relationship to physical load from sports activities. Am J Sports Med 26:78–82PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pall Jonasson
    • 1
  • Klas Halldin
    • 1
  • Jon Karlsson
    • 1
  • Olof Thoreson
    • 1
  • Jonas Hvannberg
    • 1
  • Leif Swärd
    • 1
  • Adad Baranto
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska AcademyUniversity of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University HospitalGothenburgSweden

Personalised recommendations