The role of cross-training in swim-related injuries in master’s swimmers
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Orthopedic injuries often interfere with Masters athletes’ pursuit of better performance and might place economic burden on these athletes. PURPOSE: We determined if the incidence of injuries increases with age and the economic burden associated with these injuries and whether the participation in cross-training (running, cycling, dryland resistance training) would reduce swim-related injuries in Masters swimmers. METHODS: An online, comprehensive questionnaire was sent to members of United States Masters Swimming (USMS). Response was received from 499 swimmers (294 females, 20-86 years). Economic burden was determined by total healthcare costs. Binary logistic regression was used to compute the odds ratio (OR) of having an injury, using age as a predictor. Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between injury length and healthcare costs. RESULTS: Participants had been swimming for 13.3±11.5 years, and 47%, 35%, and 40% participated in dryland resistance training, running, and cycling, respectively. For every 1 year increase in age, the odds of having an injury increased by 1.6% (OR=1.016, 95% CI= 1.001-1.030; p<0.05). For every 1 month increase in the length of swim-related injury, healthcare costs increased by 7.4% (p<0.05). The OR for having a swim-related injury were significantly less for individuals who participated in each form of cross-training compared with those who did not (p<0.05 for all). The OR for having a swim-related injury was significantly less for those who reported participating in any number of cross-training activities compared with those who did not participate in any (p<0.05 for all). CONCLUSIONS: Swim-related injuries increased with advancing age; with longer injuries leading to higher healthcare costs. Participating in any form or any number of cross-training activities attenuated the odds of having an injury in Masters swimmers
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