A survey carried out in Norwegian 1st, 2nd and 3rd division of football for men showed a successful identification of players with an increased risk of injury through a questionnaire on previous injuries and joint and muscle function only.
A total of 508 players representing 31 teams were included in the study. A questionnaire indicating previous injury and/or reduced function as inclusion criteria was used to divide the players into high-risk (HR) (76%) and low-risk (LR) groups.
The HR players were randomized individually into an HR intervention group or HR control group. All players in the HR intervention group received necessary equipment and instructions from the team physiotherapist.
During the 2004 season 505 injuries were reported, sustained by 56% of the players. The total injury incidence was a mean of 3.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5-3.9) in the LR control group, 5.3 (95% CI, 4.6-6.0) in the HR control group (P = .0001 vs the LR control group), and 4.9 (95% CI, 4.3-5.6) in the HR intervention group (P = .50 vs the HR control group).
There was a significantly lower injury risk in the predefined low risk control group, identified only through the questionnaire, but no difference between the HR intervention group and the HR control group. Compliance with the training programs in the HR intervention group was poor, with only 27.5% in the ankle group, 29.2% in the knee group, 21.1% in the hamstring group, and 19.4% in the groin defined as having carried out the minimum recommended training volume.
The authors of this study were Anders Hauge Engebretsen, Grethe Myklebust, Ingar Holme, Lars Engebretsen and Roald Bahr.
Read the article from the American Journal of Sports Medicine here.
Read the editorial in AJSM here