n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Musculoskeletal pain in South African wheelchair basketball players of different point classifications - research

Volume 31 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



Background: During recent years, wheelchair basketball has gained worldwide popularity. Several studies have demonstrated a high prevalence of injuries amongst wheelchair basketball players. Few studies, however, have investigated the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in the context of different point classifications – an integral part of wheelchair sport.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in wheelchair basketball players of different point classifications in South Africa and to provide information on patterns of pain distribution in relation to point classification.
Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 48 wheelchair basketball players participating in the SuperSport League Games of South Africa with point classifications ranging from 1.0 to 4.5. The results were used to determine the patterns of musculoskeletal pain distribution in relation to the different point classifications.
Results: Forty-three completed questionnaires were analysed. The prevalence of total musculoskeletal pain was 58% (n=25). Shoulder pain presented the highest overall prevalence, regardless of point classification (n=23; 92% since the start of players’ wheelchair basketball careers and n=19; 76% over the last 12 months). It was found that lower point classification (1.0-2.5) players commonly experienced arm pain since the start of their wheelchair basketball careers (ƞ=0.358), as well as specifically over the last 12 months (ƞ=0.319), unlike higher point classification (3.0-4.5) players.
Discussion: The study contextualises the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain to overall point classification in wheelchair basketball. Such data are important in the formation of injury prevention strategies, as athletes with impairments are predisposed to different types of musculoskeletal pain based on point classification.

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