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Most Common Injuries in High-Level Female Soccer Players

In this study trainers and physical therapists report on soccer injuries in women. They tracked the number and type of injuries during one complete outdoor soccer season. All players were elite or high-level soccer players in the German national league.

Nine teams with a total of 165 players took part in this study. Information collected during the season included time spent in training and matches and details about any injuries.

They found that two-thirds of the players were injured at least once during the season. Sixty (60) percent of the injuries occurred during matches. Some, but not all, were contact-related (trauma from direct contact with another player). Most injuries were in the legs. Ankle sprains and tears of the anterior cruciate ligament topped the list. About 10 percent of the injuries affected the spine. There were fewer injuries during training and most of those were due to overtraining.

Soccer is one of today's most popular sports around the world. Protecting soccer players from injury is an important goal. Knowing that ankle sprains and anterior cruciate ligament tears are so common will help teams focus on prevention during training. Trainers and therapists will keep studying what works best to prevent such injuries.

Oliver Faude, PhD, et al. Injuries in Female Soccer Players. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. November 2005. Vol. 33. No. 11. Pp. 1694-1700.

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