Injury Profile of Iranian Male Triathlon Athletes



Triathlon is a popular sport that combines swimming, cycling and running into
a single event and during these competitions there are many risk factors that can
cause injury in athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate characteristics
of injuries in triathlon athletes. Data about injuries (over a span of one year) in 60
professional triathlon athletes was collected using injuries report form. Chi-Square
was used to analyze the data. Totally, 123 injuries (2 injuries per triathlon athlete
per year) were reported. Most of the injuries were located in the lower extremities
(78%) compared to upper extremities (22%) (P<0.05). Shin (28%), shoulder
(22%), knee (21%) and ankle (11%) were the most common areas of injury
(P<0.05, ?2 = 42.67). The most common injuries were shin splints (26%) followed
by shoulder pain (22%), knee pain (15%) and abrasions and contusions (14%)
(P<0.05, ?2 = 13.43). Overuse (30%) was the most important reason for injuries
(P<0.05, ?2 = 35.95) followed by the change of running place (19%), unsuitable
shoes (15%), and inadequate warm-up (13%). Non-collision injuries (83%) were
significantly higher than collision injuries (17%) (P<0.05, ?2 = 53.34). Injury
during practice (76%) happened more than during competition (24%) (P<0.05, ?2
= 32.26). Injuries that occurred in running (51%) were more than those in cycling
(27%) and swimming (22%) (P<0.05, ?2 = 18.14). Minor injuries (85%) were
significantly higher than severe injuries (15%) (P<0.05, ?2 = 61.53). Most injures
occurred on the right side of the body (64%) (P<0.05, ?2 = 9.95). It can be
concluded that most injuries occurred in lower extremities, especially during
running; shin and shoulder were more prone to injury in triathlon athletes and
overuse was main reason for injuries. It is suggested that team physicians,
bodybuilders, athletes and coaches pay attention to the above facts in preventive