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Am J Sports Med. 2001 May-Jun;29(3):300-3.

Intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for muscle strains in Australian football.

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Sports Medicine Unit, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Muscle strains are common injuries in Australian football and other sports involving sprinting. Between 1992 and 1999, 83,503 player-matches in the Australian Football League were analyzed for risk of muscle strain injuries using logistic regression analysis. There were 672 hamstring, 163 quadriceps, and 140 calf muscle strain injuries. All three types of muscle strains were associated with significant risk factors. For all injuries, the strongest risk factor was a recent history of that same injury and the next strongest risk factor was a past history of the same injury. History of one type of muscle strain increased the risk for certain types of other muscle strains. Age was a risk factor for hamstring and calf muscle strains (even when adjusted for injury history) but was not a risk factor for quadriceps muscle strains. Quadriceps muscle injuries were more common in shorter players and were more likely when there had been less rainfall at the match venue in the previous week. Quadriceps muscle injuries were significantly more common in the dominant kicking leg, whereas hamstring and calf muscle injuries showed no difference in frequency between the dominant and nondominant legs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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