Purpose Little is known about injury prevention practices in professional football clubs. The purpose of this study was therefore to determine the current perceptions and practices of premier league football clubs internationally concerning risk factors, testing and preventative exercises for non-contact injuries.
Methods A survey was administered to 93 premier league football clubs internationally. The survey included four sections: (1) persons involved in the injury prevention programme: position, quantity, role, qualification; (2) perceptions regarding non-contact injury risk factors; (3) tests used to identify non-contact injury risk and (4) non-contact injury prevention exercises used, their perceived effectiveness and implementation strategies.
Results 44 surveys were successfully returned (47%). The position of physiotherapist was the most represented position in the injury prevention programme. The top five perceived risk factors in rank order were previous injury, fatigue, muscle imbalance, fitness and movement efficiency. The five most commonly used tests to identify injury risk (in rank order) were functional movement screen, questionnaire, isokinetic dynamometry, physical tests and flexibility. The top five exercises used by clubs were (also in rank order) eccentric exercise, balance/proprioception, hamstring eccentric, core stability and, sharing the fifth position, Nordic hamstring and gluteus activation.
Conclusions The survey revealed the most common perceptions and practices of premier league football clubs internationally regarding risk factors, testing and preventative exercises. The findings can enable reduction of the gap between research and practice.
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