an analysis of injuries in women's professional association football
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this investigation was to analyse the injuries sustained by female football players to establish whether there is any common pattern in the injuries that are occurring. A letter was sent out to twenty Premier League women's football teams requesting that any injury data that the physiotherapists at the clubs had for the 2002 - 2003 season. A questionnaire was sent out to those clubs that responded for the physiotherapists to complete regarding preventative measures that they feel could be implemented and problems that could be addressed. Data that was obtained included information relating to the activity at the time of injury, the time of the year that the injury occurred, the severity of the injuries and the location of the injury on the body. This data was analysed using a series of tables, figures and a chi-squared statistical analysis. The results showed that a significantly greater (p<0.05) number of injuries occurred during a match (63%). Over half of the injuries (61%) needed two weeks or less recovery time before a return to training and playing was possible, and the greatest number of injuries occurred in September and October. There were a significantly greater (p<0.05) number of strains and sprains sustained compared to other injuries and the knee (30%) and thigh (14%) represented the major locations of InjUry. The questionnaires completed by the physiotherapists highlighted several problems in women's football, including a lack of financial support. The high incidence of strains and sprains may indicate possible weaknesses in fitness programmes and in warm up and cool down routines in the clubs. More research needs to be carried out to establish why the knee is the most commonly injured area and also whether the phase of the menstrual cycle affects the risk of injury.
BSc (Hons) Sport, P.E. and Recreation
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