Context: This study evaluates the effect of nonexercise interventions on the reduction of risk for musculoskeletal injuries in armed forces.
Evidence acquisition: A database search was conducted in PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, SPORTdiscus, Greylit, Open Grey, the WHO trial registry, and the reference lists of included articles up to July 2019. RCTs and cluster RCTs evaluating nonexercise interventions for the prevention of musculoskeletal injuries in armed forces compared with any other intervention(s) or no intervention were eligible for inclusion. Data extraction and risk of bias assessment were done by 2 authors independently, followed by meta-analysis and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation assessment, if appropriate.
Evidence synthesis: This study included 27 articles with a total number of 25,593 participants, examining nutritional supplementation, prophylactic medication, and equipment modifications with mostly high or unclear risk of bias. Meta-analysis and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation assessment could be performed for 3 comparisons: custom-made insoles versus no insoles, tropical/hot-weather boots versus leather boots, and shock-absorbing insoles versus nonshock-absorbing insoles interventions, all showing the very low quality of evidence. Some evidence was found to support the preventive effect of shock-absorbing insoles, basketball shoes, padded polyester socks, calcium with vitamin D supplementation, only calcium supplementation, protein supplementation, and dynamic patellofemoral braces.
Conclusions: Although an evidence base for the efficacy of preventive interventions for musculoskeletal injuries in armed forces is weak, there are some indications for the preventive effect of shock-absorbing insoles, basketball shoes, padded polyester socks, supplementation of calcium alone or combined with vitamin D, protein supplementation, and dynamic patellofemoral braces on the incidence of musculoskeletal injuries.
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