Injuries in female youth football : prevention, performance and risk factors
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Female football has experienced an enormous increase in popularity and in the number of active players worldwide. Previous research in female football has shown that the overall injury rate for female players is nearly as high as that for male players. As a consequence, effective injury prevention methods are needed for both genders at all age and skill levels. Especially for women, little is known about risk factors and mechanisms for injury which makes it difficult to develop injury prevention programs and to target these towards injury-prone athletes. An exercise program, the “11”, has recently been designed by FIFA Medical Assessment Research Center (F-MARC) to prevent the most common injury types in football; knee and ankle sprains, hamstring and groin strains. The “11” is a 15-min program consisting of ten exercises focusing on core stability, lower extremity strength, balance, agility, as well as a fair-play appeal, but its effect on injury risk is not known. If such training protocols are designed to not only prevent injuries, but to also increase player performance, this could potentially increase coach and athlete compliance. The main aim of this thesis was to assess the effect of the “11” on injury risk and on selected performance variables in young female football players. In addition, we wanted to examine some potential risk factors for injury: play on artificial turf, injury history and lower limb function, as well as psychological player characteristics.Paper I: Steffen K, Bakka HM, Myklebust G, Bahr R. Performance aspects of an injury prevention program: a 10-week intervention among adolescent female football players. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2008. Epub January 14.Paper II: Steffen K, Myklebust G, Olsen OE, Holme I, Bahr R. Preventing injuries in female youth football - a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2008. Epub January 14.Paper III: Steffen K, Andersen TE, Bahr R. Injury risk on artificial turf and natural grass among young female football players. Br J Sports Med 2007: 41 (Suppl 1): i33-i37.Paper IV: Steffen K, Myklebust G, Andersen TE, Holme I, Bahr R. Self-reported injury history and lower limb function as risk factors for injuries in female youth soccer. Am J Sports Med 2008. Epub January 30.Paper V: Steffen K, Pensgaard AM, Bahr R. Self-reported psychological characteristics as risk factors for injuries in female youth football. Scand J Med Sci Sports. In press.
Avhandling (doktorgrad) – Norges idrettshøgskole, 2008.