Etiology of Exercise Injuries in Firefighters: A Healthcare Practitioners’ Perspective

Alyssa Q. Eastman, Beth Rous, Emily L. Langford, Anne Louise Tatro, Nicholas R. Heebner, Phillip A. Gribble, Rosie Lanphere, Mark G. Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to query healthcare practitioners (HCPs) who treat firefighter injuries to identify risk factors and mechanisms associated with musculoskeletal injuries during exercise. A phenomenological design was utilized to understand the experiences of HCPs while treating firefighters’ musculoskeletal injuries due to exercise. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 HCPs. Two interviews were pilot-tested with HCPs to ensure reliability and validity. Interviews were transcribed and uploaded to a qualitative analysis software program. Although the study inquired about injuries incurred by any exercise modality (e.g., endurance and resistance training), injuries induced during resistance training were prominent among HCPs as resistance training emerged as a primary exercise injury mechanism. HCPs indicated that the back and shoulder were prevalent anatomical exercise injury locations. Risk factors for exercise injuries included age, immobility, movement proficiency, and factors associated with fatigue. Exercise injury mechanisms included poor resistance training technique and overexertion. These findings could guide exercise program design, use of movement assessments, and the identification of other countermeasures to decrease the risk of resistance training exercise injuries among firefighters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2989
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • exercise
  • firefighter
  • healthcare practitioner
  • musculoskeletal injury
  • risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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