Injuries in Austrian soccer players: Are they an issue?

With its load characteristics, the team sport of soccer places high physical demands on players and thus is associated with a high risk of injury. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to collect information about injuries suffered by soccer players in Austria during training or matches to enable participating clubs to learn about injuries.

One hundred and forty-five players from seven teams with age ranging from 16 to 38 years participated in this prospective study during the 2015/16 season. Injury surveillance was conducted according to the consensus statement of Fuller et al. (2006).

During the period of study, a total of 83 injuries were recorded, which represents an overall incidence of 4.5 injuries/1000 hours (2.3 injuries/1000 hours in training and 14.2 injuries/1000 hours of match play). There was a significant difference for older age in injured players compared to non-injured players (p = 0.019). No differences in BMI were detected (p = 0.427). Ninety-four percent of all injuries occurred in the lower extremity, with the thigh (25.8 %), ankle (19.3 %) and knee (13.3 %) being the major locations of injuries. Muscle tendon injuries were the most common non-contact injuries (78.9 %).

Practical Application

  • Lower extremity injuries are the most common injury in Austrian soccer.
  • The incidence of muscle injuries is high, especially injuries of the posterior thigh.
  • There are promising preventive strategies for the most common injury types.
  • The implementation of these strategies is essential in order to reduce the incidence or recurrence of these soccer injuries.

About the author

Professor Nikos Koundourakis

Professor Nikos Koundourakis studied at the University of Crete, School of Medicine and specialises in physiology, sports endocrinology and biochemistry.

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