OBJECTIVES To understand the condition of athletes engaged in daily sports activities, it is important to investigate the pain that many such athletes can experience as well as the pain that can be an initial symptom of injury. Although handball is a contact sport associated with frequent injuries, the actual nature of pain symptoms that develop has not been sufficiently studied, and the relationship between pain occurrence and athletes’ daily changing physical load remains unclear. This study aimed to clarify the nature of pain symptoms in handball players and examine the relationship between pain occurrence and physical load. METHODS This study involved a 12-month daily assessment of pain symptoms and physical load involving 11 university female handball players. Pain was examined in terms of body region and a pain severity score using a pain questionnaire, and physical load on handball was assessed based on playing hours, types of matches and training recorded by a video camera. RESULTS The total number of pains was 1698, and the pain incidence rate was 288.1 pains per 1000 player hours. In terms of body regions, the ankle (18.3%) was the most common, followed by the lower back (13.3%), foot (12.8%), Achilles tendon (9.2%), and thigh (8.9%). With regard to the relationship between pain and physical load, significant moderate or weak correlations were observed between handball (rs=0.657), training (rs=0.626), and on-court training (rs=0.591) and overall pain occurrences. In terms of body regions, the ankle and thigh, significant moderate or weak correlations were observed with respect to all categories in on-court training. CONCLUSIONS We found that pain occur frequently and athletes continue to compete in games despite experiencing pain. In addition, pain occurrence was related to physical load, indicating that the type of physical load depends on the body region.
Conflicts of Interest