College student volunteers (n = 142) completed a 580 km road march for 21 consecutive days. Each volunteer carried a backpack that weighed 14.1 ± 1.4 kg on the average. We investigated the incidence and location of blisters associated with the road march using a foot map along with other injuries. Overall, 95.1% of the subjects (135 of 142) sustained one or more injuries. All injured subjects had foot blisters, and 18% had other foot injuries. The most common locations of blister development were the right 5th toe (61%) and the left 5th toe (57%). The little toes seem to have been subjected to the greatest friction and shearing forces. March-related injuries, excluding foot injuries, were ankle pain (12.7%), knee pain (12.7%) and Achilles tendon pain (7.7%). Six subjects (4.2%) needed extra medical treatment for more than 2 weeks prior to returning to their daily lives after completion of the march due to associated injuries. The present study observed a very high incidence rate of injuries (95.1%) associated with the 580 km university students grand road march. These injuries posed an obstacle against completion of the road march and against returning to daily life. Active preventive interventions such as physical therapy and customized reinforced shoes and education program are recommended for reducing incidence rate and severity of injuries.
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