Sports massage is popular among weight-trainers and other athletes, both collegiate and professional.

A new study has found that as the popularity of weight training has grown over the past decade, so too have the number of injuries from weight training. The study found that more than 970,000 weight training-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments between 1990 and 2007, increasing nearly 50 percent during the 18-year study period.

The research was conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Data from the study, available in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that males (82 percent) and youths aged 13 to 24 years (47 percent) sustained the largest proportion of weight training-related injuries. The majority of injuries occurred during the use of free weights (90 percent), and the most common mechanism of injury were weights dropping on a person (65 percent). Injuries to the upper (25 percent) and lower trunk (20 percent) were the most common followed by injuries to the hand (19 percent). The most frequent injury diagnoses were sprains and strains (46 percent) followed by soft tissue injuries (18 percent).

The study also found that while males had the highest number of injuries, there was a larger increase in the incidence of injury among female participants.

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