The ever-increasing number of football injuries in both genders and all age groups and their consequences indicate the need for proper prevention. These consequences not only have a negative influence on performance but raise recognisable socioeconomic problems. In the USA, the primary medical cost associated with football injuries is over $36 billion per year not including costs associated with the loss of competition or working days . Due to the diversity of injuries and the causative risk factors, the required preventive strategy must be complex. Obviously, such a programme must be applicable for everyday practice at all skill levels of football without any problems. Despite about 200 million players playing football throughout the world, there are only a few clinical trials proving the real effectiveness of commonly used preventive measures. Until now, three studies have discussed the general preventive effects of multi-factorial injury prevention programmes [2-4], and seven others have evaluated the prevention of specific types of injury, namely, ankle sprains, severe injuries of the knee, and hamstring strains [5-11].With the exception of one, all these publications conclude that both the general injury rate and specific types of injury can be reduced significantly by means of prevention (Table 1). Despite scientific evidence of their success, these methods are not yet incorporated in the general training routine. Obviously, there are big differences in opportunities and circumstances of prevention between the big professionals and amateur football clubs, and there are also major differences from country to country. However, the final goal should be that general concepts become nearly the same in different clubs and different countries and become part of the training routine. In this chapter, we give an overview for physicians and how they can contribute to and enrich scientific data on injury prevention, which can be especially applicable in the studied settings (e.g. in the club with which the physician works). Furthermore, we also present a general strategic concept that should help to reduce the overall injury rate.
|Title of host publication||Football Traumatology|
|Subtitle of host publication||Current Concepts: From Prevention to Treatment|
|Number of pages||13|
|ISBN (Print)||8847004187, 9788847004184|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2006|
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