Objective To evaluate thermography application as a complementary method in preventing muscle injury in professional soccer players.
MethodsA longitudinal prospective study with 28 professional soccer players that composed a first division of Brazilian’s soccer team between 2015 and 2016. In both seasons (2015 and 2016), muscle injuries were documented and classified in grade of severity, by ultrasound. During the following season (2016), infrared medical thermography was applied twice a week (48 hours after game) and if a difference of temperature was detected higher than 0.4°C, a prevention protocol was initiated. Muscle injuries in 2016 were documented.
Results In 2015, the total number of muscle injuries was 11. In 2016, the total number of muscle injuries was 4 (p=0.04). It represents an incidence/player of 78% in 2015 and 28% in 2016, corresponding to a decrease of 64% in 2016. Seven players played in the first team in both seasons. Among these seven players, muscle injuries were reduced from 8 (in 2015) to 3 (in 2016)—a decrease of 63% in the season we used thermographic monitoring (p=0.06).
Conclusion The pilot data provide a promising catalyst for a rigorous RCT that could examine whether thermography can contribute to a muscle injury prevention programme.
- muscle injury
- prevention and temperature
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Contributors All authors were important and contributed equally to this paper.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Ethics approval Ethics Committee of Medicine School of University of São Paulo.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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