Latest research in football - week 7 - 2014

Latest research in football

As previous literature updates, we have performed a PubCrawler search looking for football articles in NCBI Medline (PubMed) and GenBank databases.

Following studies were retrieved for this week:

#1 Risk Factors for Lower Extremity Injuries in Elite Female Soccer Players
Authors: Nilstad A, Andersen TE, Bahr R, Holme I, Steffen K.
Reference: Am J Sports Med. 2014 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Summary: The incidence of lower extremity injuries in female soccer players is high, but the risk factors for injuries are unknown. The purpose was to investigate risk factors for lower extremity injuries in elite female soccer players. Players in the Norwegian elite female soccer league (N = 12 teams) participated in baseline screening tests before the 2009 competitive soccer season. The screening included tests assessing maximal lower extremity strength, dynamic balance, knee valgus angles in a drop-jump landing, knee joint laxity, generalized joint laxity, and foot pronation. Also included was a questionnaire to collect information on demographic data, elite-level experience, and injury history. Time-loss injuries and exposure in training and matches were recorded prospectively in the subsequent soccer season using weekly text messaging. Players reporting an injury were contacted to collect data regarding injury circumstances. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for ±1 standard deviation of change. In total, 173 players underwent complete screening tests and registration of injuries and exposure throughout the season. A total of 171 injuries in 107 players (62%) were recorded; ligament and muscle injuries were the most frequent. Multivariate analyses showed that a greater body mass index (BMI) (OR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.21-1.90; P = .001) was the only factor significantly associated with new lower extremity injuries. A greater BMI was associated with new thigh injuries (OR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.08-2.11; P = .01), a lower knee valgus angle in a drop-jump landing was associated with new ankle injuries (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.41-1.00; P = .04), and a previous knee injury was associated with new lower leg and foot injuries (OR, 3.57; 95% CI, 1.27-9.99; P = .02), whereas none of the factors investigated influenced the risk of new knee injuries. A greater BMI was associated with lower extremity injuries in elite female soccer players. Increased knowledge on risk factors for lower extremity injuries enables more targeted prevention strategies with the aim of reducing injury rates in female soccer players.

#2 Isokinetic imbalance of hip muscles in soccer players with osteitis pubis
Authors: Mohammad WS, Abdelraouf OR, Elhafez SM, Abdel-Aziem AA, Nassif NS.
Reference: J Sports Sci. 2014 Feb 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Summary: In this study, we compared the isokinetic torques of hip flexors/extensors and abductors/adductors in soccer players suffering from osteitis pubis (OP), with normal soccer players. Twenty soccer male athletes with OP and 20 normal soccer athletes were included in this study. Peak torque/body weight (PT/BW) was recorded from hip flexor/extensor and abductor/adductor muscles during isokinetic concentric contraction modes at angular velocity of 2.1 rad · s-1, for both groups. The results showed a significant difference between the normal and OP groups for hip flexors (P < 0.05). The normal group had significant, lower PT/BW value than the OP group for their hip flexors (P < 0.05). The hip flexor/extensor PT ratio of OP affected and non-affected limbs was significantly different from that of normal dominant and non-dominant limbs. There were no significant differences between the normal and OP groups for hip extensor, adductor and abductor muscles (P > 0.05). Regarding the hip adductor/abductor PT ratio, there was no significant difference between the normal and OP groups of athletes (P > 0.05). The OP group displayed increase in hip flexor strength that disturbed the hip flexor/extensor torque ratio of OP. Therefore, increasing the hip extensor strength should be part of rehabilitation programmes of patients with OP.

#3 At return to play following hamstring injury the majority of professional football players have residual isokinetic deficits
Authors: Tol JL, Hamilton B, Eirale C, Muxart P, Jacobsen P, Whiteley R.
Reference: Br J Sports Med. 2014 Feb 3. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-093016. [Epub ahead of print]
Summary: There is an ongoing debate regarding the optimal criteria for return to sport after an acute hamstring injury. Less than 10% isokinetic strength deficit is generally recommended but this has never been documented in professional football players after rehabilitation. Our aim was to evaluate isokinetic measurements in MRI-positive hamstring injuries. Isokinetic measurements of professional football players were obtained after completing a standardised rehabilitation programme. An isokinetic strength deficit of more than 10% compared with the contralateral site was considered abnormal. Reinjuries within 2 months were recorded. 52 players had a complete set of isokinetic testing before clinical discharge. There were 27 (52%) grade 1 and 25 (48%) grade 2 injuries. 35 of 52 players (67%) had at least one of the three hamstring-related isokinetic parameters that display a deficit of more than 10%. The percentage of players with 10% deficit for hamstring concentric 60°/s, 300°/s and hamstring eccentric was respectively 39%, 29% and 28%. There was no significant difference of mean isokinetic peak torques and 10% isokinetic deficits in players without reinjury (N=46) compared with players with reinjury (N=6). When compared with the uninjured leg, 67% of the clinically recovered hamstring injuries showed at least one hamstring isokinetic testing deficit of more than 10%. Normalisation of isokinetic strength seems not to be a necessary result of the successful completion of a football-specific rehabilitation programme. The possible association between isokinetic strength deficit and increased reinjury risk remains unknown.


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