Shoulder and Back Non-Contact Injuries Most Common in Older Athletes; Knee and Ankle Issues Source of Most Degenerative Problems

By Rob Shaul

Last week we asked MTI newsletter subscribers age 40-60 who have trained 20+ years for medical history of non-contact injuries and significant degenerative issues.

We had hoped to learn if there was any differentiation in these health issues between how these athletes have completed the bulk (2/3+) of their fitness training, and as part of the survey, we asked for their dominant fitness training category: strength, endurance or multi-modal.

Overall we received 18 responses, all from men: 5 who had trained endurance primarily, and 13 who had trained multi-modal primarily. No primarily strength-training athletes responded.

In general, multi-modal athletes seemed to suffer more non-contact injuries than endurance athletes, with shoulder and back injuries being the most common.

In terms of common, degenerative issues, the endurance athletes reported most issues with knees and shoulders. Multi-modal athletes reported most issues with knees and ankles.

We didn’t receive enough responses from endurance athletes, and none from strength athletes, to confidently identify any significant differences between athlete types. But regardless, the data summary and specific injuries are interesting.

Summaries are below, followed by specific injuries and degenerative issues.

For the summary calculation, each limb counted as one incidence. So, if an athlete reported knee arthritis in both knees, that category received two “points.” Understand that because many more multi-modal athletes responded, the reported issues for these athletes are higher.




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