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|Title: ||Injuries in professional football: identification of aetiological factors|
|Authors: ||Hawkins, Richard D.|
|Keywords: ||Sports science|
Health & safety
|Issue Date: ||1998|
|Publisher: ||© Richard David Hawkins|
|Abstract: ||UK health and safety legislation aims to protect employees from injury at work; professional
footballers as employees are therefore covered by this legislation. A risk assessment approach to
health and safety issues, as required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work
Regulations 1992, has been undertaken to establish the epidemiological and aetiological factors
related to injuries in professional football and to identify management and training procedures to
reduce the incidence and severity of injuries.
Issues of injury frequency and causation during the period 1994 to 1997 were addressed through
two routes. First, during the 1994 World Cup Finals, 1996 European Championships, and 1994
to 1997 English league seasons via match analysis. Second, player injuries at four professional
football league clubs were recorded by the club physiotherapist. These results provided
complementary evidence showing an overall injury rate of 8.5/1000 playing hours, injury rates
during training and matches being 3.5/1000 and 27.7/1000 playing hours, respectively. Two
thirds of the injuries occurred during competitive match play, the remainder during training, the
highest incidences of match and training injuries taking place during the first month of the
playing season (P<O.05) and the pre-season period (P<0.05), respectively. The lower extremity
was the site of 87% of the reported injuries, 41% and 22% of all injuries being muscular strains
and re-injuries, respectively. Injury profiles differed between youth and senior players (P<0.01).
Additional information was recorded through an assessment of club training routines and a
survey of professional footballers' knowledge and application of injury prevention strategies.
Issues relating to current injury prevention practices, player's perception of injury risk and
advice received relating to these issues were addressed. These results provided supportive
evidence showing poor understanding of and adherence to accepted athlete training procedures
and the implementation of injury prevention practices.
The studies suggest that a substantial number of injuries could be prevented in English
professional football through identification of the hazards presented to players, an assessment of
the existing risk levels and implementation of more rigorous control measures. Deficiencies in
injury prevention practices indicate a need for wider education of players and coaches regarding
the hazards and risks associated with professional football and the availability of medical and
sports science knowledge to reduce these levels of risk.|
|Description: ||Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)|
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