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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Injuries at a Canadian National Taekwondo Championships: a prospective study

Mohsen Kazemi1* and Willy Pieter2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Studies, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2 School of Health Sciences, Science University of Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2004, 5:22  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-22

Published: 27 July 2004



The purpose of this prospective study was to assess the injury rates in male and female adult Canadian Taekwondo athletes relative to total number of injuries, type and body part injured.


Subjects (219 males, 99 females) participated in the 1997 Canadian National Taekwondo Championships in Toronto, Canada. Injuries were recorded on an injury form to documents any injury seen and treatment provided by the health care team. These data were later used for this study. The injury form describes the athlete and nature, site, severity and mechanism of the injury.


The overall rate of injuries was 62.9/1,000 athlete-exposures (A-E). The males (79.9/1,000 A-E) sustained significantly more injuries than the females (25.3/1,000 A-E). The lower extremities were the most commonly injured body region in the men (32.0 /1,000 A-E), followed by the head and neck (18.3/1,000 A-E). Injuries to the spine (neck, upper back, low back and coccyx) were the third most often injured body region in males (13.8/1,000 A-E). All injuries to the women were sustained to the lower extremities. The most common type of injury in women was the contusion (15.2/1,000 A-E). However, men's most common type of injury was the sprain (22.8/1,000 A-E) followed by joint dysfunction (13.7/1,000A-E). Concussions were only reported in males (6.9/1,000 A-E). Compared to international counterparts, the Canadian men and women recorded lower total injury rates. However, the males incurred more cerebral concussions than their American colleagues (4.7/1,000 A-E).


Similar to what was found in previous studies, the current investigation seems to suggest that areas of particular concern for preventive measures involve the head and neck as well as the lower extremities. This is the first paper to identify spinal joint dysfunction.