gms | German Medical Science

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Austria

Injuries in female spanish top level handball team

Meeting Abstract

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm097

doi: 10.3205/11esm097, urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm0974

Published: October 24, 2011

© 2011 Ferri-Caruana et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: To describe the incidence, nature, anatomic distribution and severity of sports injuries registered during two consecutive seasons in a female top Spanish division handball team.

Material/Methods: The team had two physiotherapists who were at all times in practices and games. Injuries were recorded by one of them at the end of each session/ game in an injury registration diary. The diary was filled with the next information: Player name, date of the injury, anatomic structure injured, days off training, number and type of physiotherapist treatments and exposition time. The number of players per position in both seasons was: 14 back players, 6 wing players, 4 line players and 5 goalkeepers. Injuries were graded according to the “absence/modification of the training session”: slight= 0 days; minor= 1-7 days, moderate= 8-21 days, major>21 days [1]. Injury incidence was calculated as the number of injuries per 1000 hours of exposure.

Results: 168 (67.2%) were overuse injuries and 82 (32.8%) acute. The lower extremity was involved in 46.4% of the injuries, the trunk 28.8% and the upper extremity 21.2%. The lower extremity showed the highest percentage of overuse injuries 45.8%, followed by the trunk 39.9% and the upper extremities 14.3%. 152 injuries did not required absence from training/game (60.8%), 78 injuries were minor (31.2%), 11 were moderate (4.4%) and 9 were major injuries (3.6%). Line players had the highest injury incidence compared to other player position.

Conclusion: On contrary to the expected, this study shows that female professional handball players have a high injury incidence in the lower extremities and the trunk compared to the upper extremities. Furthermore, many slight (non-time loss) injuries do occur in high-level handball team and the registration of daily complaints and minor injuries is important since degenerative changes may occur in the areas with more stress. The current study might provide baseline information for further prevention strategies.


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