Health Problems in Women’s Football

A study at the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center looked at illness, sudden-onset and gradual-onset injuries among players in the Norwegian women’s premier league during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. It concluded that 32% reported at least one health problem at any given time, and 22% reported a substantial health problem that negatively affected their training volume or performance.

The overall incidence of health problems was calculated to be 10.7 health problems per 1000 hours of football exposure. Sudden-onset, acute injuries accounted for the majority (68%) of playing/training time lost. Thigh injuries were the most frequent, representing 26% of all injuries. However, knee injuries, especially anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, were identified as the most severe. ACL injuries alone accounted for 30% of the total injury time loss.

In summary, the study highlighted the prevalence and impact of health problems among players in the Norwegian women’s premier league, emphasizing the significance of sudden-onset injuries. In particular, with specific attention to the severity of knee injuries, particularly ACL injuries. The findings provide valuable insights for developing strategies to prevent and manage health problems in elite women’s football.

Amundsen R, Thorarinsdottir S, Clarsen B, et al. #ReadyToPlay: health problems in women’s football–a two-season prospective cohort study in the Norwegian premier league. British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 15 November 2023. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2023-107141.

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