By Jane Falconer (TTT Subscriber -‘Falkie71’)
In 2002, Drawer and Fuller published some research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which showed that the risk of acute and chronic injury to professional football players was so high that it is classed as ‘unacceptable’ by the UK’s Health & Safety at work legislation – the highest risk category available. In fact, the injury rate is so high that only 86% of players are available to play in matches at any one time. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a lot of work has been done by the various football authorities to try to work out how the injury rate can be reduced.
I’ve attempted to summarise this work over two articles for TTT. This first one sets the scene by looking at the scale of the problem, and the impact on the performance of the team. The second one will look at how match-related factors and individual player factors contribute to injury rates.
This all came out of the comments for Do Rest Days Really Make a Difference?, where I posted a summary of some of the injury-related studies I had found. As a result, I was asked to turn it into a fully-fledged article. After a more systematic search of the literature I quickly realised that there was more information than could be included in one piece, so decided to split it in two.
This article is for Subscribers only.