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Examination of the external and internal load indicators' association with overuse injuries in professional soccer players

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

OBJECTIVES: Research in professional soccer focusing on the relevance of external and internal load indicators for injury prevention is scarce. This study examined the relationship between load indicators and overuse injuries. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: Data were collected from 35 professional male soccer players over two seasons. Following load indicators were examined: total distance covered (TD), distance covered at high speed (THSR; >20kmh-1), number of accelerations (ACCeff; >1ms-2), number of decelerations (DECeff; <-1ms-2), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) multiplied by duration. Cumulative 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-weekly loads and acute:chronic workload ratios (ACWR) were calculated and split into low, medium and high groups. Only overuse injuries were included in the analysis to focus on their specific relationship with the load indicators. Generalized estimating equations were applied to analyse the relationship between load indicators and overuse injuries in the subsequent week. RESULTS: In total, 64 overuse injuries were registered. For cumulative loads, results indicated an increased injury risk for higher 2- to 4-weekly loads as indicated by TD, DECeff, and RPE multiplied by duration. For ACWR, a high ratio for THSR (>1.18) resulted in a higher injury risk. In contrast, a lower injury risk was found when comparing medium ratios for ACCeff (0.87-1.12), DECeff (0.86-1.12), and RPE x duration (0.85-1.12) to low ratios. CONCLUSIONS: Findings demonstrate that mainly external load indicators are associated with increased or decreased injury risk. The monitoring of various load indicators is recommended for injury prevention in professional soccer.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
ISSN: 1440-2440
Issue: 6
Volume: 21
Pagina's: 579 - 585
Aantal pagina's: 7
Jaar van publicatie:2018