Science and Soccer

By Thomas Reilly; A. Mark Williams | Go to book overview

10

Injury prevention and rehabilitation

Thomas Reilly, Tracey Howe and Nigel Hanchard

Introduction

Soccer entails physical contact in the course of tackling or contesting possession of the ball with opponents and this inevitably leads to injury of varying severity. A majority of injuries are unintentional, resulting from an error on the part of the player concerned or by another player. The error may lead to an accident (or unplanned event) and some of these accidents lead to injury. Inflicting injury intentionally on another player is severely punished both by the laws of the game and, where the evidence is clear-cut, by civil law also.

There are many extrinsic factors which may cause injury, besides the behaviour of players. These include the state of the pitch, the weather conditions, inappropriate choice of footwear and inattention to warm-up. There are also intrinsic factors which embrace the mental state of the player, the level of fitness and the existence of predisposing factors such as muscle weakness or a previous injury.

Detailed considerations of injuries in soccer are provided in texts such as Ekblom (1994) and Lillegard and Rucker (1993). The aim of this chapter is to outline the most common injuries that occur to players, consider some predisposing factors and preventive measures. The main methods of treating injuries are delineated. First, it is important to define an injury and examine the incidence of injury in soccer.


10.1Factors affecting injury occurrence

There is little in the way of standardization in the presentation of injury statistics. There is no common definition that has been generally accepted by those studying the epidemiology of sports injury. In consequence, it is difficult to make comparisons between analyses carried out in earlier decades with statistics from the game as currently played. Unless methodologies are similar, it is also impossible to make inferences about differences between countries.

Generally, analyses of injuries tend to be retrospective studies of the records held at the professional clubs or compiled by the medical team. Records usually detail the type of injury and the timing of the occurrence along with concise descriptive detail. The period of treatment is recorded and the diary is maintained until the player is fully recovered to play in competition. Players may feign injury as an excuse for poor performance but persistence in doing so may compromise his/her selection for the next game. Consequently, the operational definition of an injury might be one that prevents the player from training for two consecutive sessions. An injury that renders the player from competing for a sustained period would constitute a severe injury.

For comparison with other sports in terms of risk, information in addition to the frequency of occurrence is required. The incidence of injury refers to the occurrence of new injuries in a particular time frame; the prevalence of injuries refers to the overall number of sufferers at

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Science and Soccer
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • 1 - Introduction to Science and Soccer 1
  • Part 1 - Biology and Soccer 7
  • 2 - Functional Anatomy 9
  • 3 - Fitness Assessment 21
  • 4 - Physiology of Training 47
  • 5 - Motion Analysis and Physiological Demands 59
  • 6 - Nutrition 73
  • 7 - Different Populations 96
  • Part 2 - Biomechanics and Soccer Medicine 107
  • 8 - Biomechanics Applied to Soccer Skills 109
  • References 118
  • 9 - The Biomechanics of Soccer Surfaces and Equipment 120
  • 10 - Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation 136
  • 11 - Psychology and Injury in Soccer 148
  • 12 - Environmental Stress 165
  • Part 3 - Behavioural Science and Soccer 185
  • 13 - Coaching Science and Soccer 187
  • 14 - Skill Acquisition 198
  • 15 - Stress, Performance and Motivation Theory 214
  • References 227
  • 16 - Soccer Violence 230
  • Part 4 - Match Analysis 243
  • 17 - Notational Analysis 245
  • 18 - The Science of Match Analysis 265
  • 19 - Information Technology 276
  • References 283
  • Part 5 - Growth and Adolescence 285
  • 20 - Growth and Maturity Status of Young Soccer Players 287
  • 21 - Identifying Talented Players 307
  • Index 327
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