Self-reported load carriage injuries in Australian regular army soldiers

Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope, Julia Coyle, Vanerina Johnston

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationResearchpeer-review

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Question: What injury risks are associated with load carriage in
Australian soldiers?
Design: Online survey
Participants: Australian Regular Army soldiers from selected Corps with
high exposure to load carriage.
Intervention: Exposure to Army load carriage tasks
Outcome Measures: Self-reported injury incidence, types, body sites and
sources, associated with military load carriage
Results: Of 338 respondents, 34% reported at least one load carriage
injury over their military career (9.4±7.4 years of service) of which 8% were
female and 92% were male. Female soldiers reported 1.21 (CI 0.71 to 2.04)
times as many injury incidents per capita as males. Of the 42% of injured
soldiers who reported sustaining more than one injury, 43% reinjured the
same body site. The majority of injuries (61%) affected the lower limbs,
with bones and joints the most frequently injured body structures (39%).
Endurance marching was the activity accounting for most (38%) injuries.
Conclusions: Occupational load carriage is a source of soldier injuries.
Once injured, soldiers are at high risk of subsequent load carriage injury.
The body sites and natures of self-reported injuries are akin to those of
formally reported injuries and those reported by other military forces.
Key Practice Points:
• Soldiers are required to carry loads as part of their occupation and these
loads may predispose them to injuries
• Once injured soldiers are at an increased risk of subsequent load
carriage injuries
• When treating a soldier for musculoskeletal injuries, developing load
carriage resilience prior to return to work is a priority.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventCONNECT 2015 Physiotherapy Conference - Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 3 Oct 20156 Oct 2015 (Conference Program) (Book of Abstracts)


ConferenceCONNECT 2015 Physiotherapy Conference
Abbreviated titleAPA 2015
CityGold Coast
Internet address


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