Injuries in Portuguese Amateur Youth Football Players: A Six Month Prospective Descriptive Study

Miguel Nogueira, Rita Laiginhas, José Ramos, Ovídio Costa

Abstract


Introduction: This study analyzed the incidence and characteristics of injuries sustained by amateur youth football players in Portugal during season 2015 - 2016.
Material and Methods: This is an observational descriptive study. We analyzed Portuguese youth football players’ injuries over six months of a season. A total of 529 players were divided according to their age in two groups (Under-17 and Under-19). Data on injuries were collected.
Results: Throughout all 62 062.0 hours of exposure recorded, 248 injuries were reported in 173 different players. The average incidence of injury was 3.87 (95% CI = 2.81; 4.94) per 1000 hours of football exposure. There was a significantly higher average incidence of injury during matches – 14.22 (95% CI = 10.35; 18.09) per 1000 hours of exposure – when compared to the average incidence of injury during training – 2.06 (95% CI = 1.22; 2.90) per 1000 hours of exposure. This significance was also observed when the comparison was made within each age group. A traumatic mechanism was involved in 76.6% of all the injuries, while overuse was reported in 12.9%. The most common type was the injury that affected muscles and tendons (52.8%). The body location most commonly affected by injuries was the thigh (24.6%).
Discussion: Even though is essential a better characterization of Portuguese athletes of younger age groups such as those discussed in this study, the results of the studied population are in agreement with the existing literature. However, this study provides more information that may be important to better target the Portuguese athletes’ training for injury prevention.
Conclusion: This study provides descriptive data on injuries developed in a subpopulation of Portuguese amateur youth football players that could represent a focus for future prevention.


Keywords


Athletic Injuries; Incidence; Portugal; Soccer/injuries

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