Retrospective injury epidemiology of one hundred one competitive Oceania power lifters: the effects of age, body mass, competitive standard, and gender

J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Aug;20(3):672-81. doi: 10.1519/R-18325.1.


The injury epidemiology of competitive power lifters was investigated to provide a basis for injury prevention initiatives in power lifting. Self-reported retrospective injury data for 1 year and selected biographical and training information were obtained via a 4-page injury survey from 82 men and 19 women of varying ages (Open and Masters), body masses (lightweight and heavyweight), and competitive standards (national and international). Injury was defined as any physical damage to the body that caused the lifter to miss or modify one or more training sessions or miss a competition. A total of 118 injuries, which equated to 1.2 +/- 1.1 injuries per lifter per year and 4.4 +/- 4.8 injuries per 1,000 hours of training, were reported. The most commonly injured body regions were the shoulder (36%), lower back (24%), elbow (11%), and knee (9%). More injuries appeared to be of a sudden (acute) (59%) rather than gradual (chronic) nature (41%). National competitors had a significantly greater rate of injury (5.8 +/- 4.9 per 1,000 hours) than international competitors (3.6 +/- 3.6 per 1,000 hours). The relative proportion of injuries at some body regions varied significantly as a function of competitive standard and gender. No significant differences in injury profile were seen between Open and Masters or between lightweight and heavyweight lifters. Power lifting appears to have a moderately low risk of injury, regardless of the lifter's age, body mass, competitive standard, or gender, compared with other sports. Future research should utilize a prospective cohort or case-controlled design to examine the effect of a range of other intrinsic and extrinsic factors on injury epidemiology and to assess the effects of various intervention strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Lifting / injuries*