Risk Factors, Testing, and Preventative Strategies for Non-Contact Injuries in Professional Football: Current Perceptions and Practices of 44 Teams from Various Premier Leagues

McCall, A., Carling, C., Nedelec, M., Davison, M., Le Gall, F., Berthoin, S., Dupont, G.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the current perceptions and practices of premier league football clubs internationally concerning risk factors, testing, and preventive exercises for non-contact injuries.

Methods: A survey was distributed to 93 premier league football clubs worldwide. The survey comprised four sections: (1) personnel involved in the injury prevention program, including their position, quantity, role, and qualification; (2) perceptions regarding non-contact injury risk factors; (3) tests used to identify non-contact injury risk; and (4) non-contact injury prevention exercises, their perceived effectiveness, and implementation strategies.

Results: Forty-four surveys were successfully returned (47% response rate). Physiotherapists were the most represented position in the injury prevention program. The top five perceived risk factors were previous injury, fatigue, muscle imbalance, fitness, and movement efficiency. The most commonly used tests to identify injury risk were the functional movement screen, questionnaire, isokinetic dynamometry, physical tests, and flexibility assessments. The top five exercises used by clubs were eccentric exercise, balance/proprioception training, hamstring eccentric exercises, core stability exercises, and Nordic hamstring/gluteus activation exercises.

Conclusions: The survey findings shed light on the common perceptions and practices of premier league football clubs internationally regarding non-contact injury prevention. This information could help bridge the gap between research findings and practical implementation, potentially enhancing injury prevention efforts in professional football clubs.

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