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Summer Adaptive Sports Technology, Equipment, and Injuries

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As adaptive sports grow in popularity, it is increasingly important to understand the injuries for which their athletes are at risk. This population is challenging to study given its small size and diversity of its participants; accordingly, research is mostly low quality because of limited sample sizes and study durations. Summer adaptive sports account for 22 of 28 Paralympic sports, with the most frequently studied being wheelchair basketball, rugby, tennis, athletics, swimming, and soccer. Injuries vary by sport because of differences in contact level, limbs utilized, and athlete impairments. Equipment changes and technological advances, especially within wheelchair and amputee sports, have increased the level of competition and reduced injury rates. Fortunately, the majority of injuries across adaptive sports are minor and do not result in significant time off from sport. Still, even minor injuries can negatively impact these athletes’ mobility and activities of daily living compared to the nondisabled population.

Keywords: adaptive sports; athlete; disability; injury rate; paralympic; wheelchair

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, PM&R Residency, University of Washington 2: Department of Spine, Sports, and Musculoskeletal Medicine, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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