Risk factors for injuries in football

Am J Sports Med. 2004 Jan-Feb;32(1 Suppl):5S-16S. doi: 10.1177/0363546503258912.


Background: The injury risk in football is high, but little is known about causes of injury.

Purpose: To identify risk factors for football injuries using a multivariate model.

Study design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Participants were 306 male football players from the two highest divisions in Iceland. Before the 1999 football season started, the following factors were examined: height, weight, body composition, flexibility, leg extension power, jump height, peak O(2) uptake, joint stability, and history of previous injury. Injuries and player exposure were recorded throughout the competitive season.

Results: Older players were at higher risk of injury in general (odds ratio [OR] = 1.1 per year, P = 0.05). For hamstring strains, the significant risk factors were age (OR = 1.4 [1 year], P < 0.001) and previous hamstring strains (OR = 11.6, P <0.001). For groin strains, the predictor risk factors were previous groin strains (OR = 7.3, P = 0.001) and decreased range of motion in hip abduction (OR = 0.9 [1 degrees ], P = 0.05). Previous injury was also identified as a risk factor for knee (OR = 4.6) and ankle sprains (OR = 5.3).

Conclusions: Age and previous injury were identified as the main risk factors for injury among elite football players from Iceland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Iceland / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Soccer / injuries*