n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Incidence of karate-related musculoskeletal pain among SKISA Karatekas s medicine - : sports medicine

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Over the past decade, there has been heightened interest in the philosophy, training habits, nutrition and epidemiology of martial arts athletes. Despite this interest in martial arts, there is a dearth of information on the epidemiology and training history of unique Karate martial arts athletes, more specifically Shotokhan Karate-Do-International South Africa (SKISA) karatekas. This study investigated the incidence of karate-related musculoskeletal pain among SKISA athletes, as well as their training history. One hundred and sixty male and female karatekas participated in a retrospective epidemiological investigation by voluntary informed consent. Subjects were martial artists belonging to SKISA who congregated at the 2010 National SKISA Kanazawa-Cup Tournament. The subjects' training history and incidence of karate-related musculoskeletal pain were gathered employing a self-report musculoskeletal pain questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed in the statistical analysis. Out of the 160 karatekas who responded to the questionnaire, 61.88% (n=99) experienced karate-related musculoskeletal pain (p<0.01). The incidence of karate-related musculoskeletal pain was as follow: lower extremities (54.65%), upper extremities (41.09%) and neck (4.24%) (p<0.01). Incidence of karate-related musculoskeletal pain specific to anatomical sites were: hand (18.64%), feet (16.95%), leg (14.41%), knee (12.29%), back (11.86%), shoulder (8.47%), neck (4.24%), elbow (2.12%), and others (11%) (p<0.01). The predisposing mechanism producing karate-related musculoskeletal pain was direct physical trauma (59.59%) from semi-contact (p<0.01). Other factors were overuse injuries, non-compliance to rehabilitation programmes and lack of seeking medical attention when experiencing musculoskeletal pain. SKISA athletes did experience a high incidence of karate-related musculoskeletal pain, especially at their hands (18.64%) and feet (16.95%) (p<0.01).

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