Summary of a cluster RCT testing the effectiveness of an injury prevention warm up for young female soccer players.
1892 female soccer (football) players aged 15.4±0.7 (range 13-17) (Norway).
Cluster randomised controlled trial.
cluster – all athletes from the same club
Warm up exercise programme in three parts:
- running at slow speed, active stretching, controlled contact with partner
- strength, balance, jumping
- speed running, cutting, soccer-specific movements
- before every training in the season (8 months)
- running part before every match
- trained as usual
- lower limb injury - injury to the “foot, ankle, lower leg, knee, thigh, groin, hip”
- any injury, knee injury, ankle injury as secondary measures
- Out of 1892 players, 301 (16%) players sustained 376 injuries (intervention group: 161, control group: 215). 80% (299) of injuries were acute, 20% (77) were overuse injuries.
- In training, injury incidence was 1.9 (±0.2) per 1000 hours, and in matches 8.1 (±0.5) per 1000 hours. Overall incidence was 3.9 (±0.2) per 1000 hours.
- Number needed to treat varied from 15 to 63 players.
- The most common acute injury types were sprains and strains. The most common overuse injuries were lower limb tendon pain, low back pain and anterior lower leg pain.
- Intervention group had significantly lower risk of overall injuries (~30%), overuse injuries, and severe injuries (~50%).
- Intervention group had significantly less players who had two or more injuries.
- Risk of re-injury did not differ between groups.
Take home message
Soligard T, Myklebust G, Steffen K, Holme I, Silvers H, Bizzini M, Junge A, Dvorak J, Bahr R, Andersen TE. Comprehensive warm-up programme to prevent injuries in young female footballers: cluster randomised controlled trial. Bmj. 2008 Dec 10;337.