Risk factors for hamstring muscle injury in male elite football: medical expert experience and conclusions from 15 European Champions League clubs

Review written by Adam Johnson info

Key Points

  1. Chief Medical Officers in elite men’s football have differing opinions surrounding perceived modifiable hamstring injury risk factors depending on their club’s injury rates.
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The “Elite Club Injury Study” was introduced into male professional football in 1999 with the aim of reducing injuries and increasing player safety. Work from this study group has led to recognition of increasing hamstring injury rates (1) and increased proportion of hamstring injuries seen within elite male populations.

This study aimed to try and understand more than just the data surrounding the injuries, by looking at current opinions regarding preventable risk factors from the Chief Medical Officers (CMO’s) of the clubs involved. The authors then had a secondary aim of comparing these opinions between teams which had a historically lower, and higher rate of hamstring injury.

Work from the Elite Club Injury study group has led to recognition of increasing hamstring injury rates.
This study suggests those staff working under less democratic coaches feel that their ability to influence injury rates are immediately reduced.


  • This study utilized prospective injury surveillance data along with retrospective questionnaires from 15 teams all participating within the UEFA Champions League or Europa League initial stages.
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