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Finland’s sports physiotherapy conference—athlete training and loading: Helsinki 7–8 June 2019
  1. Peter Halén1,
  2. Karim M Khan2
  1. 1 The Finnish Sports Physiotherapist Association (FSPA), Tampere, Finland
  2. 2 Department of Family Practice, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Mr Peter Halén, The Finnish Sports Physiotherapist Association (FSPA), Tampere, 33720, Finland; peter.halen{at}

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As we were finalising this Warm Up on New Year’s Day, we two authors, one from Finland the other from Canada, undertook a bet as our teams were opponents in the Quarter Finals of the International Ice Federation World Junior Championships. By the time we finalised our work, on 6 January 2019, Finland (population 5.5 million) had beaten the USA (population 325 million) and were World Champions. Some will have forgotten the event by the time this issue goes to print but those folks won’t live in Finland. ‘World Champion’ provides a theme for the fifth international sports physiotherapy congress being held in Helsinki in June 2019 (figure 1). There is a world-class academic programme complemented by a world-famous social programme. And good reason to celebrate.

Figure 1

The  Finnish Sports Physiotherapy Association  (FSPA) Annual Congress will be held in Helsinki on 7–8 June  2019  (

In this issue

This issue of what aims to be a world-champion resource for our community, BJSM, contains major original data studies on conditions prevalent in hockey but not limited to it. We share a very practical prevention programme for groin pain (see page 150) by Joar Harøy and colleagues as well as Dr Andreas Serner’s video study of the mechanisms that underpin MRI-proven adductor longus strain (see page 158). Groin pain can be prevented. These studies build on two important studies from Netherlands and Ireland that help clarify the anatomy1 and biomechanics/treatment2 associated with groin injuries. Groin pain features prominently at the Annual Congress with both a session on apophyseal injuries themselves and one on managing load in adolescents—a group particularly prone to groin and hip problems.

We maintain the strong clinical focus with a review of the cost-effectiveness of treatments for both neck pain and low back pain (see page 172). The lead author is Brazil’s Gisela Cristiane Miyamoto (working also in Netherlands) and the focus is cost-effectiveness which is particularly relevant in 2019 in the middle of the robust physiotherapy debate about ‘hands-on vs hands-off’ treatment and clinicians demanding evidence for ‘high-value’ care. Back pain is an area where many myths abound.3

Speaking of Finland’s international leadership (editor’s note: this is OK, Finland doesn’t often win the hockey world championship and there was a bet), we were delighted to choose Dr Mari Leppänen’s important analysis of the prevalence of overuse conditions among 733 boys and girls aged around 12 years who play football (see page 165). The authors included legends of Finnish sports medicine and made a powerful call for attention to what may be a hidden epidemic of preventable injury. Kudos to the Norwegian/Canadian coauthors—we are stronger together and BJSM celebrates international collaboration.

BJSM has featured the plantar fascia recently and because the problem can be so crippling the editors accepted two fairly similar high-quality papers.4 One of these is in this issue. Led by Opeyemi Babatunde, the author team stems from Keele (UK) and La Trobe Universities (Australia) which are both highly regarded in musculoskeletal health disciplines (see page 182). Podiatry features strongly in this one. A major strength is the network meta-analysis—a type of research BJSM has been encouraging.5

Helsinki: meet the experts, 7 and 8 June 2019

Our English language international sports physio conference got rave reviews from the President of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy, Dr Emma Stokes, when she attended in 2017. Our programme for 2019 invokes the Golden Globe winning movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ because the best known Freddie Mercury song is ‘We are the champions’ (of the world). OK. Enough-you get the picture. This is truly the World Champion version of the Finnish Sports Physiotherapy Congress. Here is a link to the conference (

Remember, if you are a Finnish sports physiotherapist and not yet a member of the Association, please consider joining. You get regular educational events in Finnish as well as the Annual Congress, full access to all of BJSM including online first, and we are stronger together when we advocate for our profession. The Chair looks forward to reuniting with the large Finnish sport physiotherapy community in June alongside many international guests. ‘Tapaamisiin’ (Best wishes!)



  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.