July 2011

Soccer hamstring injury data suggest need for gender-specific intervention

In the moment: Sports medicine

Gender appears to affect patterns of hamstring injury in soccer, suggesting that different prevention strategies may be in order for male and female players, according to a study presented in June at the National Athletic Trainers Association meeting.

Researchers from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville analyzed hamstring strain patterns for soccer players as documented in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Injury Surveillance System for a three-year period. They found that female players were more likely than male players to injure their hamstrings during the preseason, particularly during preseason conditioning, and during practice. Male players, conversely, were more likely to strain a hamstring during the postseason and during games.

The findings suggest a need for gender-specific intervention, said Kevin Cross, PT, ATC, a sports medicine researcher at UVA who presented the results at the NATA meeting.

“What we would suggest is that future research look at the physical conditioning of female athletes as they come into the preseason,” Cross said. “In male athletes, future research needs to look into the idea of ‘game conditioning.’”

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