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Br J Sports Med. 2016 Jun;50(12):731-7. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095359. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

Hamstring injuries have increased by 4% annually in men's professional football, since 2001: a 13-year longitudinal analysis of the UEFA Elite Club injury study.

Author information

1
Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden Football Research Group, Linköping, Sweden UEFA Medical Committee, Nyon, Switzerland.
2
Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden Football Research Group, Linköping, Sweden.
3
Football Research Group, Linköping, Sweden Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are limited data on hamstring injury rates over time in football.

AIM:

To analyse time trends in hamstring injury rates in male professional footballers over 13 consecutive seasons and to distinguish the relative contribution of training and match injuries.

METHODS:

36 clubs from 12 European countries were followed between 2001 and 2014. Team medical staff recorded individual player exposure and time-loss injuries. Injuries per 1000 h were compared as a rate ratio (RR) with 95% CI. Injury burden was the number of lay off days per 1000 h. Seasonal trend for injury was analysed using linear regression.

RESULTS:

A total of 1614 hamstring injuries were recorded; 22% of players sustained at least one hamstring injury during a season. The overall hamstring injury rate over the 13-year period was 1.20 injuries per 1000 h; the match injury rate (4.77) being 9 times higher than the training injury rate (0.51; RR 9.4; 95% CI 8.5 to 10.4). The time-trend analysis showed an annual average 2.3% year on year increase in the total hamstring injury rate over the 13-year period (R(2)=0.431, b=0.023, 95% CI 0.006 to 0.041, p=0.015). This increase over time was most pronounced for training injuries-these increased by 4.0% per year (R(2)=0.450, b=0.040, 95% CI 0.011 to 0.070, p=0.012). The average hamstring injury burden was 19.7 days per 1000 h (annual average increase 4.1%) (R(2)=0.437, b=0.041, 95% CI 0.010 to 0.072, p=0.014).

CONCLUSIONS:

Training-related hamstring injury rates have increased substantially since 2001 but match-related injury rates have remained stable. The challenge is for clubs to reduce training-related hamstring injury rates without impairing match performance.

KEYWORDS:

Muscle injury; Recurrent; Soccer; Strain; Thigh

PMID:
26746908
DOI:
10.1136/bjsports-2015-095359
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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