Prevention program reduces injuries among professional soccer players
An injury prevention program instituted by the Royal Belgian Football Association has been linked to a 21.1% reduction in injury rates for soccer players in Belgium, according to recently published data.
“The introduction of injury preventive programs has led to a significant reduction of soccer-related injuries, especially during the winter period,” Peter Bollars, MD, and colleagues wrote in their study. “However, there is still room for improvement, and preventive programs can become more effective when specific parameters are targeted, such as adequate conditioning of players in the preseason.”
In their descriptive epidemiologic study, Bollars and colleagues analyzed the incidence, location, timing and severity of injuries reported in the 1999 to 2000 season (before the prevention program was implemented) and compared them with results from the 2009 to 2010 season (post-program implementation). Overall, the investigators found 56,364 injuries with an average of 6.8 injuries per 100 players each season. Of all injuries, sprains (2.3 per 100 players) were the most common, followed by contusions and muscle strains (1.6 and 1.3, respectively, per 100 players.)
In both seasons, injuries were most from August to October, the first 3 months of the season.
The investigators found that the injury rate decreased by 21.1% in the 2009 to 2010 season from the 1999 to 2000 season, mostly due to a 40% reduction of injuries sustained during winter. —by Christian Ingram
Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.