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Information about a piece of news titled PhD-defense on a new method for recording overuse injuries in sports

PhD-defense on a new method for recording overuse injuries in sports


Tuesday, Jan 20, PT Ben Clarsen defended his PhD-thesis ”Overuse injuries in Sport – Development, validation and application of a new surveillance method” at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo.


Overuse injuries present a particular problem in injury-prevention research, because their occurrence and severity are challenging to measure.


A new method for recording overuse injuries


- We know from previous studies that overuse injuries are very common in sports.


However, the current methods used to register injuries in sports medicine research fail to reflect their true impact, says PhD-student Ben Clarsen (picture, photo Andreas Birger Johansen).



The research-team around Ben decided to take the challenge and developed a new method to capture overuse injuries in sport.



As part of the PhD-project, a new method based on the regular administration of an electronic overuse injury questionnaire has been validated and tested in a variety of different sports, including cross-country skiing, cycling, floorball, handball, and volleyball.

The method has also been used to monitor the health of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic team.


A completely different picture

In comparison with traditional methods of recording sports injuries, the new method records more than 10-times as many overuse problems.  It also provided a far more nuanced reflection of the impact that overuse injuries had on athletes’ sports participation, training volume and sporting performance (link to news on OSTRC web). 


The registration work

- It’s often difficult to get elite athletes to participate in research projects, says Clarsen. Therefore, it’s essential that it’s quick and easy for them to report health problems. One of the keys to the success of the new method is that athletes can report an overuse problem in 20 seconds, directly from their smartphone.


- We see that this as a theoretically sound way of registering overuse injuries, that actually works really well in practice!


From questionnaires to mobile app

The result of this research is a system where athletes easily can register whether or not they have pain, reduced participation or reduced performance due to overuse injury.



A new research area


This PhD-work has signified a new research area for OSTRC; the prevention of overuse injuries in sport.


- Using this method, we can start to address some important and challenging sports injury problems, says supervisor Grethe Myklebust.


So far, athletes have received a weekly questionnaire by email, but now the Oslo Sports Trauma Research has developed a mobile app to make injury registration even easier. Information technology is developing extremely rapidly, and it’s important to keep up with the way athletes communicate, adds Clarsen. 


Great interest for overuse injury research

In fact, the new method is already in use in a number of exciting projects in and outside Norway. The Norwegian Olympic Training Center has good experiences in monitoring their athletes during their Olympic preparations, and several other countries have expressed interest in the system.


Associate Professor Grethe Myklebust and Professor Roald Bahr served as a supervisors for Ben.



Read more about Ben´s projects.



Program for January 20 (Place: Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo)

10:15-11:00: Trial lecture «Symptoms and structural changes in the injured shoulders of throwing athletes – what is the evidence for treatment?»

13:00-15:30: PhD defense



1. opponent: Dr Collin Fuller, FIFA Medical Assessment Research Center, Zurich, Switzerland

2. opponent: Prof. Romain Seil, Department of Ortopaedic Surgery, Centre Hospitalier of Luxembourg, Clinique d'Eich, Luxembourg

Head: Professor May Arna Risberg, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo


Trial lecture and PhD defense will be held in English and is open for public. WELCOME