Do exercise-based prevention programmes reduce non-contact musculoskeletal injuries in football (soccer)? A systematic review and meta-analysis with 13355 athletes and more than 1 million exposure hours
- Low quality evidence suggests that exercise-based prevention programmes may reduce non-contact injuries by 23%.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Non-contact musculoskeletal injuries are frequent in football (soccer) across all levels of participation. With the popularity of football continuing to grow, clinicians will most likely come across injured athletes of all age groups in football. A number of prevention programmes have been established over the years, most notably the FIFA 11+ (1). It includes popular targeted exercises aimed to reduce specific injuries (i.e. the Nordic hamstring exercise and Copenhagen groin adductor exercise to reduce hamstring and groin injuries respectively). But a large number of general exercises aimed at preparing players for training or match play and therefore reducing injuries are also included in prevention programmes such as the FIFA 11+.
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effects of exercise-based programmes in preventing non-contact musculoskeletal injuries in football. The investigation also looked at the differences between focused exercises (as compared to general exercises) in preventing injuries.
We have to carefully weigh implementing these programmes against the time, effort and resources needed.
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines were followed for reporting of this review. Relevant articles were identified following a search of the electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, CINAHL, PEDro and SPORTDiscus) from the earliest record