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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692


STEINMAN, J. et al. Epidemiology of surfing accidents in Brazil. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2000, vol.6, n.1, pp.9-15. ISSN 1517-8692.

Surfing has become extremely popular in Brazil. Information on the rate and spectrum of surfing injuries in Brazil is quite limited. The objectives of this study were to investigate the incidence of surfing injuries in Brazil and to analyze the types, causes, part of body, and severity of injuries associated to recreational and competitive surfing, and related to different surfing conditions. Nine hundred and thirty surfers answered a comprehensive questionnaire and reported 927 injuries (over a period of three years) requiring medical attention or resulting in inability to surf for one or more days. The population included recreational (67.5%), amateur (29.4%), and professional (3.1%) male surfers. Mean age was 23.7 years (SD = 6.30). Fifty-nine percent had more than 5 years of surfing experience. Most injuries were traumatic in nature (82.5%) and occurred during free surfing (96.2%). The most common injuries were laceration (44%), contusion (16.9%), muscle and ligament injury (15.5 %). Thirty-eight percent of the injuries were in the lower limbs, 17.9% in the upper limbs, 15.6% in the head. Total restriction from surfing following injuries was 54.2% up to 7 days, 20.7% from 7 to 14 days, 10.1% from 14 to 30 days, and 14.8% more than 30 days. The rate of moderate to severe injuries among this sample was 2.47 injuries per 1000 surfing days. Compared to other studies, the total incidence was low. Despite the high incidence of traumatic injuries, the prevalence of recurrent lower back pain (28.4%), neck pain (27.3%), shoulder pain (20.5%), and knee pain (12.5%) in this study suggest overuse injuries as a common problem among surfers.

Keywords : Epidemiology; Surfing; Accidents; Injuries.

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