Background:Due to enhancing of competitive level of paralympic athletes, musculoskeletal injuries incidence has increased, as well as the Physical Therapy activities in the last
Paralympic Summer Games. Goalball is a paralympic modality, in which athletes have visual impairments and consenquently changes in neuromuscular control. These carachteristics can lead to inadequate
pattern of movement and must expose athletes to higher risk of sports injuries. In London 2012, goalball was the sixth paralympic modality that had the greatest quantitative of injuries: 77% of acute
injuries, 10% were cronic injuries and 13% of overuse injuries. The presence of injuries can lead to withdrawls at training and competitions, which results in prejudices of individual or collective
performance, as well as financial losses. This study aimed to check the prevalence of injuries, in addition to evaluate the lower limbs functional performance of goaball athletes from Brazilian
Methods:A cross-sectional study was conducted, and individual functional assessments were performed with 11 athletes of Goalball Female Brazilian National Team at pre-season period.
For data collection, a validated questionnaire was used to estimate the prevalence of injuries in the last 12 months, and it was also performed the functional evaluation of lower limbs through LQYBT
test. This test evaluated neuromuscular control to achieve the three largest distances (anterior, posterolateral and posteromedial) with one lower limb, while the other leg attempted to stabilize the
movement. This way, the distances were measured. For data normalization, the composite score was calculate based on the sum of averages of the results, divided by the triple of the lower limb lenght
and multiplied by 100. Data were plotted and analyzed by comparison with normative data already standardized.
Results: The average age of the participants was 26.3 (SD=6.9; min=16 and max=39) years and all athletes have performed high performance training in the last six years. Regarding the
prevalence of injuries, results showed that 8 (72%) athletes reported some injury in the last 12 months. When investigating further, we found that 3 (27%) athletes had chondral knee injuries, 2 (18%)
athletes reported ankle injuries, and 2 athletes reported injuries in the lumbar spine. When performing LQYBT analysis, 27.3% (3 athletes) had results bellow the normative values for their activity,
age and gender. However, all of the evaluated (11 athletes) had an increased risk of injury because presented measurement diferences between the lower limbs (difference greater than 4cm).
Conclusions: Although there aren’t normative data for paralympic athletes, these preliminar results show that athletes with some type of visual impairment have prejudices in
neuromuscular performance when they performs the functional test LQYBT, when it is compared with parameters of normality for people with no disabilities. Thus, these athletes can be more exposed to
lower limbs’ injuries. Individualized preventive programs might be important to reduce these injuries risks and it can support the best sports performance.