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Soccer Injuries: 12x more common in game situations

Soccer Injuries: 12x more common in game situations

The risk of injury during competition matches is twelve times higher than during training sessions in players of the Professional Football League. The most common ones are muscular injuries and those resulting from overexertion, which imply recovery periods of around one week. These findings follow an extensive epidemiological study that analyses the characteristics of injuries to professional footballers in Spain conducted by researchers at the Universitat Jaume I of Castellón, the Polytechnic University of Madrid and the University of Exeter (UK).

‪The research has allowed to register systematically, for the first time in Spain, injuries sustained during an entire season for a total of 728 players from 16 first division teams and 11 second division teams.

‪Diego Moliner, director of the research group LIFE at the Universitat Jaume I, explains that in total 1,293 injuries were recorded in the first division and 891 in the second division, thus confirming an increased risk of injury during competition matches than during training sessions. ‪The overall incidence of injury among professional players from first and second division was 5.6 injuries per thousand hours of exposure. “But the most significant is that in the case of the competition the number of injuries per thousand hours of practice was 41.7 versus 3.6 produced per thousand hours of training, which means that the risk of injury is almost twelve times higher during a competitive match.” ‪Nearly 90% of injuries occurred in lower limbs, and the primary cause was overexertion, which was the origin of three in four injuries. Regarding the type of injury, the most common ones were muscle and tendon, which were registered in one in two cases.

‪Regarding the evolution during the season, the incidence of injury during training sessions was greater during the preseason and declined progressively during the competitive season, while the impact of injury during competition matches progressively increased throughout the season.

‪Among the key findings of the articles, the authors have highlighted the need to implement new protocols for preventing injuries that minimize the high economic and sporting cost it means for professional football teams the high injury incidence among their players, especially during the preseason and end of the competitive period.

‪In the research, led from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the contribution of the group LIFE of the UJI has focused on the design of data analysis and on the drafting of the two scientific papers. LIFE research group within the Department of Education of the UJI, focuses its studies in the field of physical activity and health, and is currently developing a project on sport, adolescence and health funded by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in the National Plan for Scientific Research (

Journal Reference:
1.Javier Noya Salces, Pedro M. Gómez-Carmona, Luis Gracia-Marco, Diego Moliner-Urdiales, Manuel Sillero-Quintana. Epidemiology of injuries in First Division Spanish football. Journal of Sports Sciences, 2014; 32 (13): 1263 DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2014.884720


The Tragic Hip

The Tragic Hip
She wasn’t born this way, but even Lady Gaga experienced groin pain — typically a symptom of hip disease such as arthritis of the hip — or, in her case, a hip labral tear. Groin pain is a common health complaint. According to a literature review appearing in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), one in four people develop hip arthritis — damage to the surfaces in the hip joint — before the age of 85 that contributes to groin pain.
Contributing factors to the development of hip arthritis and, subsequently, groin pain may include one or more of the following:
•a sports-related injury;
•prior surgery to the hip;
•infection of bone or soft tissue;
•a defect present at birth;
•problems with growth and development, and
•traumatic occupational and recreational history, bone fractures, or a history of trauma.
The specific symptoms, and the timing/onset of those symptoms, can help your doctor recommend the appropriate tests, imaging or referrals to diagnose and treat the cause of the pain.
“Individuals experiencing sudden, onset groin pain associated with trauma or bowel/bladder dysfunction, symptoms like fevers or abdominal discomfort should promptly seek medical attention,” says Juan C. Suarez, MD, lead author of the study and an orthopaedic surgeon with Cleveland Clinic Florida. “But, those with chronic pain, despite time and conservative management, also warrant evaluation.”
Young athletes participating in activities such as endurance sports, soccer, power lifting, ice hockey, and basketball are at an increased risk of developing hip osteoarthritis (OA), the “wear and tear” arthritis because of frequent, high stresses at the joint surface. In addition to hip arthritis, female athletes participating in endurance sports also are more likely to sustain hip and pelvic stress fractures than male athletes.
A detailed medical history and examination by a physician can help diagnose and manage the source of groin pain. “It is important to have a good network of physicians from multiple specialties,” says Dr. Suarez. “In my experience, the diagnosis is not always obvious and it may require multiple visits, examinations and referrals prior to reaching the correct diagnosis. A good network facilitates this process.”
Journal Reference:
1.J. C. Suarez, E. E. Ely, A. B. Mutnal, N. M. Figueroa, A. K. Klika, P. D. Patel, W. K. Barsoum. Comprehensive Approach to the Evaluation of Groin Pain. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2013; 21 (9): 558 DOI: 10.5435/JAAOS-21-09-558

Dark Chocolate boosts sports performance! Sweet

Dark Chocolate boosts sports performance! Sweet

Dark chocolate has already been hailed for its positive effects on cardiovascular health — and now a study undertaken at London’s Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training.

A team led by postgraduate research student Rishikesh Kankesh Patel discovered that dark chocolate provides similar benefits to beetroot juice, now taken regularly by elite athletes after studies showed it can improve performance. “Beetroot juice is rich in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This dilates blood vessels and reduces oxygen consumption — allowing athletes to go further for longer,” Mr Patel explained.

The team from the British university wanted to find out whether dark chocolate could provide a similar boost, as it contains a substance called epicatechin — a type of flavanol found in the cacao bean, that also increases nitric oxide production in the body.

To test the theory, Mr Patel carried out a study with a group of nine amateur cyclists. The 23 year old researcher was supervised by sport science field leader Dr Owen Spendiff and senior lecturer in sport analysis James Brouner.

After undergoing initial fitness tests to establish a baseline for comparison, the participants were then split into two groups. The first group was asked to replace one of its normal daily snacks with 40g of a dark chocolate known to be rich in flavanols for a fortnight, while the other participants substituted 40g of white chocolate for one of their daily snacks as a control.

The effects of the athletes’ daily chocolate consumption were then measured in a series of cycling exercise tests in the sports performance laboratory at the University’s Penrhyn Road campus. The cyclists’ heart rates and oxygen consumption levels were measured during moderate exercise and in time trials. After a seven-day interval, the groups then switched chocolate types and the two-week trial and subsequent exercise tests were repeated.

The study, which has now been published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that after eating dark chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial.

Mr Patel said the results opened the door for more research which could eventually lead to dark chocolate becoming a staple part of endurance athletes’ diets. “Both dark chocolate and beetroot juice are known to increase nitric oxide, which is the major mechanism we believe is behind these results,” Mr Patel said. “We found that people could effectively exercise for longer after eating dark chocolate -something that’s not been established before in this way.”

Mr Patel carried out the study as part of his undergraduate sport science degree at Kingston University, and is now conducting further research into dark chocolate as part of his doctoral thesis. He is hoping to discover the optimal flavanol level in dark chocolate for boosting athletic performance.

“We want to see whether the boost in performance is a short term effect — you eat a bar and within a day it works — or whether it takes slightly longer, which is what the initial research is showing,” Mr Patel said. “We are also investigating the optimal level of flavanols. At the moment there is not a lot of consistency in flavanol levels in commercially-available chocolate. Once we’ve found the optimal chocolate dose and duration, we’ll compare its effects to those of beetroot juice, and also test the influence of combining consumption of both, as they produce an increase in nitric oxide in slightly different ways.”

Dr Owen Spendiff, who has conducted studies around beetroot juice and athletic performance, said that Mr Patel’s work showcased some of the cutting-edge research being carried out within Kingston University’s sport science facilities. “Rishikesh’s findings are really interesting, as he has proven the exercise benefits of dark chocolate for the first time,” he said. “The fact he began his research into dark chocolate as an undergraduate and is now carrying that forward at postgraduate level here really demonstrates what our sport science students can achieve.”

Meanwhile sport analysis lecturer James Brouner — who in his spare time pounds the pavements as an ultra-distance runner — said that the research suggested dark chocolate could offer particular benefits to endurance athletes.

“From a performance perspective, making an athlete more efficient can have major advantages in long duration steady-state exercise,” he said. “With so many athletes consuming beetroot juice to achieve this gain but complaining of the palatability, dark chocolate could have a similar effect but with the additional benefit of tasting good too. “When performing endurance-based activity, being as economical as possible in energy provision is key to enhancing your performance. From our results, the consumption of dark chocolate has altered the participants’ response to the activity and therefore could enhance their endurance performance.”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Kingston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
1.Rishikesh Kankesh Patel, James Brouner, Owen Spendiff. Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2015; 12 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12970-015-0106-7


Run for better bone health

Run for better bone health

Spanish researchers have analysed the effect of endurance running training on the stiffness index, a variable that is directly related to bone quality. The results confirm that the greater the race distance that is trained, the better; this can be used, therefore, to prevent the progressive decline in bone mineral density that occurs with age.

In healthy individuals, bone quality -chiefly determined by bone mineral density- depends on factors such as sex, age, race and diet. It can be modified, however, by making life style changes -for instance by doing regular exercise. A new study, led by researchers from Camilo José Cela University (UCJC), determines how training to compete in endurance races (from 10 km to marathons) can modify the mechanical properties of the calcaneus, a bone in the foot that forms the heel.

The changes in the mechanical properties of the bone were measured using the stiffness or rigidity index, a variable that is directly related to the bone density of the calcaneus. The results were recently published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

During the study, bone densitometries -or bone density tests- were performed on both the right and left feet of 122 marathon runners and 81 half marathon and 10km runners, and their values were compared to those of a control group of sedentary individuals of a similar age.

“The results showed that the endurance runners had a greater stiffness index than the sedentary individuals,” as explained by Beatriz Lara, the main author of the study and a member of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at UCJC. The improved stiffness index was observed in both the male and female runners.

“It was also possible to confirm a dose-response relationship, meaning that greater amounts of training correspond to a greater improvement in the mineral density of the calcaneus,” adds Lara.

The scientists assert that training for endurance races is effective in producing physical changes in the physical properties of the calcaneus; hence, this can be used to prevent the progressive decline in bone mineral quality that occurs with age.

How to improve bones

Beneficial changes in bone mineral quality can be induced using mechanical stimuli related to the load that the bones bear. Exercise modalities that require greater muscular forces (weight-bearing exercise) or high impacts (such as jumping) are the best activities for increasing bone mineral density.

“Sports such as swimming or skating, in which body weight or impact loading are reduced, do not generate high osteogenic benefits,” emphasises Lara. “Nevertheless, the effect that endurance running training may have on our bones is not yet known -while it does not entail high impacts, it does require running long distances.”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
1.Beatriz Lara, Juan José Salinero, Jorge Gutiérrez, Francisco Areces, Javier Abián-Vicén, Diana Ruiz-Vicente, César Gallo-Salazar, Fernando Jiménez, Juan Del Coso. Influence of endurance running on calcaneal bone stiffness in male and female runners. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2015; 116 (2): 327 DOI: 10.1007/s00421-015-3285-7