Infrared Thermography Protocol on Reducing the Incidence of Soccer Injuries
Abstract: Infrared thermography has been used to detect skeletal muscle overload and fatigue in athletes, but its use in injury prevention in professional soccer has not been studied to date.
Objectives: To establish a novel injury prevention program based on infrared thermography and to determine its influence on the injury incidence in professional soccer players in the preseason.
Design: A cross-sectional, prospective study design was used to compare a conventional injury prevention program (CPP) applied over the first preseason and an infrared thermography injury prevention program (IRTPP) carried out in the following preseason.
Setting: Soccer training ground. Participants: Twenty-four players belonging to a first division soccer team from Spain.
Main outcome measures: Injury incidences of each player were recorded according to the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System (version 10.0) convention to determine the injury classification, location, and type.
Results: The incidence of injuries decreased from 15 injuries in the CPP preseason (0.63 [0.77] injuries per player) to 6 injuries in the second preseason when the IRTPP was applied (0.25 [0.53] injuries per player). The days of absence due to injuries also decreased from the CPP preseason (156 d, 10.4 [11.0] d per injury) to the IRTPP preseason (14 d, 2.3 [2.8] d per injury). The injury severity also decreased from the first preseason to the second preseason, and fewer musculoskeletal injuries in the thigh, hip, and groin were reported.
Conclusions: The implementation of an IRTPP can reduce the presence of injuries by identifying players potentially at risk and as a result, reducing the injury severity and days lost as a consequence.
Reference: Gómez-Carmona, P., Fernández-Cuevas, I., Sillero-Quintana, M., Arnaiz-Lastras, J., & Navandar, A. (2020). Infrared Thermography Protocol on Reducing the Incidence of Soccer Injuries, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 29(8), 1222-1227.
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