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  • Soccerex 2017

Exclusive: Protect your playing staff - Winter, Football and Injury

Players in the Premiership suffer almost twice as many injuries as their fellow professionals in Spain and Italy, but the cause is more likely to be foul weather than foul play. A UEFA study has found that players in north European countries picked up major injuries far more frequently than those in southern European nations.

Major injuries were defined as those causing a month’s absence and those affecting joints and ligaments. The study was led by Professor Jan Ekstrand, and supports the hypothesis that climate affects injury. Thus a cold and rainy climate with subsequently poorer surface conditions may increase the risk of traumatic and overuse ligament and joint injuries.­Fortunately with the improvements made to football stadia we no longer see games that are sand scattered mud baths as players struggle to play. However during the winter months players can suffer with injury because of various pitch conditions.

For example if pitches are too hard (frozen), players can become injured from direct contact as well as increased foot, ankle, knee and back damage from repeated high impact on hard pitches. On the other hand if pitches are heavy / muddy players can suffer injury due to slip leading to ankle and knee ligament damage and overuse tendonitis from the strain of constantly dragging your feet from the mud. In addition it may be difficult to stop and change direction effectively, hence increasing the risk of collision.

As one of the most popular sports in the world, football has massive financial implications especially when considering professional football. The projected financial loss due to injury is enormous in addition injury costs could include increased medical fee premiums. Also first choice players who are unfit to play as a result of injury may also add to the cost. Their absence may lead to a reduced club income due to reduced match attendance and diminished prize money as a result of low league position, and/ or an early cup competition exit.

So what can you do to deal with these varied conditions?

Always wear boots with removable studs and always carry spare sets of different length studs to suit the conditions.

To find out more click here

Dr Ralph Rogers

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