A prospective study of injury affecting competitive collegiate swimmers

Res Sports Med. 2013;21(2):111-23. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2012.757224.


The purposes of this study were to determine the incidence and distribution of injuries affecting collegiate competitive swimmers and to test possible injury risk factors. A prospective cohort design was used to follow 34 swimmers (16 M, 18 F) from an NCAA Division I Midwest University over one academic year. Exposure-based injury rates were determined for both practice and competition. Risk of injury was assessed relative to gender, years swimming, and history of injury. Twenty of 34 swimmers sustained 31 injuries with overall injury rates of 5.55 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures and 3.04 injuries per 1000 hours exposure. Practice injury rates for female swimmers were higher than for women's practice injury rates in other NCAA sports. The most common injury locations were the shoulder, back, and knee. Risk factors that remained significant in the multivariate analysis were history of injury to the same anatomical location and history of injury at other anatomical sites.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Back Injuries / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Swimming / injuries*
  • Young Adult