Epidemiology and Trends of Weightlifting-Related Sprains and Strains that Presented to Emergency Departments in the United States

J Long Term Eff Med Implants. 2018;28(2):111-117. doi: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.2018026168.


Despite potential health benefits of weightlifting and physical activity, individuals can suffer from a number of musculoskeletal injuries. This study aimed to: (i) compare incidence and annual trends of different weightlifting injury types presenting to emergency departments in the United States and (ii) identify frequency and annual trends of weightlifting-related sprains and strains to each body part. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was queried to identify all weightlifting-related injuries from 2010-2016. Incidence and annual trends of various types of weightlifting-related injuries were compared during the study period. Furthermore, frequency and annual trends of weightlifting-related sprains and strains to different body parts were assessed. The weighted estimated annual incidence of weightlifting-related injuries significantly increased from 86,910 in 2010 to 109,961 in 2016 (R2 = 3.382; p = 0.01). The most common weightlifting-related sprains and strains involved the lower trunk (29.4%), shoulder (22.6%), upper trunk (17.3%), neck (6.5%), upper arm (5.6%), wrist (4.8%), knee (3.4%), and elbow (2.6%). There was a significant increase in the frequency and trends of sprains and strains that involved the lower trunk (R2 = 0.631; p = 0.033). Weightlifting-related injuries have increased, of which sprains and strains were the most common. Additionally, the most commonly affected body part was the lower trunk. Further studies are needed to determine the etiologies of weightlifting-related lower trunk sprains/strains. This study may be beneficial to weightlifters, highlighting common injury types, thereby allowing them to take preventative measures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Elbow / injuries
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Shoulder Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology*
  • Torso / injuries*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Weight Lifting / injuries*
  • Weight Lifting / trends
  • Wrist Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult