RECOVERY AND PREVENTION: Elisa Brownhill graduated from SCU with her Masters of Osteopathic Medicine in 2018. She has worked as an exercise physiologist, sport and recreational instructor and as a remedial massage therapist where her clients included the Sydney Kings basketball team.
RECOVERY AND PREVENTION: Elisa Brownhill graduated from SCU with her Masters of Osteopathic Medicine in 2018. She has worked as an exercise physiologist, sport and recreational instructor and as a remedial massage therapist where her clients included the Sydney Kings basketball team.

The sports most likely to see you end up in hospital

FOR nation that loves it's sport, nearly 59,000 of us end up in the emergency department because of our passion for footy, basketball or cycling.

According to a report Hospitalised sports injury in Australia, 2016-17, released by the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare on Wednesday, during that period some 58,500 people were hospitalised for sports injuries - with fractures topping the table as the most common injury.

Of the injuries that required hospitalisation, almost one third (32 per cent) were sustained while playing one of the football codes, with most injuries affecting the hips or legs (30 per cent) and head or neck (25 per cent).

And males were more than twice as likely to be hospitalised as females.

But the figures could be much higher, as the report does not include information on people who sought treatment at hospital emergency departments; general practitioner clinics; sports medicine centres; or from allied health practitioners such as physiotherapists.

It's a conundrum that while every year, millions of Australians participate in sport and physical recreation activities, playing sport does come with real risks.

For males, the sports that most frequently led to hospitalisation were football (all codes) 38 per cent, cycling 12 per cent, and wheeled motor sports such as motorcycling and go-karting eight per cent.

For females, the sports which saw them stay in hospital the most were football (all codes) 15 per cent, netball 10 per cent but, 13 per cent when combined with basketball) and equestrian activities 11 per cent.

Lismore osteopath Elisa Brownhill said she usually treats sporting injuries after the acute stage.

Brownhill's background includes working as an exercise physiologist, sport and recreational instructor and as a remedial massage therapist where her clients included the Sydney Kings basketball team.

"I see clients when they are in recovery to help strengthen weak muscles and prevent the injury recurring again," she said.

"Men are more likely to get straight back out there, whereas women can be more nurturing to make sure they are fit enough."

The report's author Professor James Harrison, from the AIHW's National Injury Surveillance Unit at Flinders University, revealed the least dangerous sports in the study were recreational walking and going to the gym, which had a hospitalisation rate of 12 and 10 per 100,000 people respectively.


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