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Match-related risk factors for injury in male professional football
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Physiotherapy. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Injuries are common in professional football, especially during matches, and they cause suffering for players, in both the short and the long term. It is therefore important to try to prevent these injuries. One of the most important steps in injury prevention is to fully understand the different risk factors that contribute to these injuries.

Aim: The aim of this thesis was therefore to investigate several match-related factors that have been suggested to be important for the risk of sustaining injuries during professional football matches.

Methods: The thesis consists of four papers, and all analyses are based on data gathered during a large-scale prospective cohort study that has been running since 2001: the UEFA Elite Club Injury Study. Medical teams from 61 clubs have been involved in this study, and they have prospectively gathered data about football exposure and injuries for their first team players.

Associations between the following factors and injuries have been analysed: • Match characteristics in terms of match venue, match result, and competition • Match congestion, both short and long term, and at team and individual player level • Number of completed training sessions between return to sport after an injury and the first match exposure

Results: All match characteristics studied were shown to be associated with injury rates, with higher injury rates during home matches compared with away matches, in matches that were lost or drawn compared with matches won, and in domestic league and Champions League matches compared with Europa League and other cup matches. It was also shown that injury rates, muscle injury rates in particular, were higher if the recovery time between matches was short. This association between match congestion and injury rates was shown when match congestion was considered at both team and individual player level. Finally, the odds of injury during the first match exposure after a period of absence due to injury was found to be higher if players had completed few training sessions between return to sport and their first match.

Conclusion: There are several match-related risk factors that contribute to the injury rate during professional football matches. A better understanding of these risk factors will help teams to make better estimations of the injury risks to which players are exposed in different situations (e.g. during periods of match congestion and when players return to sport after an injury). Knowledge about risk factors will also offer the possibility of reducing the number of injuries for football teams by addressing them with appropriate measures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. , 97 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1604
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-142788DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-142788ISBN: 9789176854006 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-142788DiVA: diva2:1154671
Public defence
2017-12-01, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-03 Created: 2017-11-03 Last updated: 2017-11-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Match Injury Rates in Professional Soccer Vary With Match Result, Match Venue, and Type of Competition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Match Injury Rates in Professional Soccer Vary With Match Result, Match Venue, and Type of Competition
2013 (English)In: American Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 0363-5465, E-ISSN 1552-3365, Vol. 41, no 7, 1505-1510 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Player activities in soccer matches are influenced by the match result and match venue. It is not known whether injury rates are influenced by these factors. Purpose: To investigate whether there are associations between injury rates and the match result, venue, and type of competition in male soccer. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Twenty-six professional clubs from 10 countries were followed prospectively during 9 seasons (2001-2002 to 2009-2010). All matches, and injuries occurring in these matches, were registered by the teams medical staff. An injury was registered if it resulted in player absence from training or matches. Information about match result, venue, and type of competition for all reported matches was gathered by the authors from online databases. Injury rates in matches with varying match characteristics were compared by use of generalized estimating equations. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Results: A total of 2738 injuries during 6010 matches were registered. There were no associations between odds of 1 injury occurrence and match result or type of competition, whereas the odds were decreased in matches played away compared with home matches (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80-0.99). The odds of 2 or more injury occurrences in a match were increased in matches resulting in a draw (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.15-1.69) or loss (OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.38-1.98) compared with matches won and were decreased in other cup matches compared with league matches (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.39-0.84) and in matches played away compared with home matches (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60-0.82). Finally, injuries with more than 1 weeks absence occurred more frequently in Champions League matches compared with league matches both for matches with 1 injury (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.09-1.45) and matches with 2 or more injuries (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.13-2.20). Conclusion: The odds of 2 or more injury occurrences in professional soccer were higher in matches resulting in a loss or a draw compared with a win, whereas the odds of injury occurrences were lower in matches played away compared with home matches. The rate of moderate and severe injuries increased with the importance of the match.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications (UK and US): No SAGE Choice, 2013
Keyword
athletic injuries; competition; football; performance; risk factors
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105047 (URN)10.1177/0363546513486769 (DOI)000330524000011 ()
Available from: 2014-03-06 Created: 2014-03-06 Last updated: 2017-11-03
2. Muscle injury rates in professional football increase with fixture congestion: an 11-year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Muscle injury rates in professional football increase with fixture congestion: an 11-year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study
2013 (English)In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 0306-3674, E-ISSN 1473-0480, Vol. 47, no 12, 743-747 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background The influence of fixture congestion on injury rates and team performance has only been scarcely investigated.

Aim To study associations between recovery time and match load and injury rates and team performance in professional football.

Methods Exposure and time loss injuries were registered prospectively from 27 teams over 11 seasons. Matches were grouped according to recovery days before each match (≤3 vs >3 days, and ≤4 vs ≥6 days). Injury rates and team performance were compared between groups. Match load in match sequences containing five consecutive matches was determined by the number of days separating the first match and the last training session during that match sequence. Linear regression was used to study associations between match load and injury rates and team performance.

Results Team performance showed no association with match load, or recovery days prior to matches, except for Europa League matches that indicated more matches lost with short recovery (≤3 days) (p=0.048). Total injury rates and muscle injury rates were increased in league matches with ≤4 days compared with ≥6 days’ recovery (RR 1.09, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.18, and RR 1.32, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.51, respectively), specifically hamstring and quadriceps injuries. High match load was associated with increase in muscle injury rate in matches in the same match sequence (p=0.012), and increase in ligament injury rate in training in the subsequent match sequence (p=0.003).

Conclusions Fixture congestion was associated with increased muscle injury rates but had no, or very limited, influence on team performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMJ Publishing Group, 2013
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97448 (URN)10.1136/bjsports-2013-092383 (DOI)000322868800008 ()23851296 (PubMedID)
Note

Funding Agencies|Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)||Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports, and Praktikertjanst AB||

Available from: 2013-09-12 Created: 2013-09-12 Last updated: 2017-11-03Bibliographically approved

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