Introduction Previous epidemiological studies in women’s football have used methods inappropriate to capture overuse injuries and illnesses. The aim of this study was to describe the injury and illness patterns in women’s premier league football.
Materials and Methods During the 2020 and 2021 seasons players in the women’s premier football league in Norway reported all health problems (acute injuries, overuse injuries and illnesses) weekly, using the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Questionnaire on Health Problems. We calculated incidence, average weekly prevalence, and burden (the cross-product of incidence and severity) of all health problems reported.
Results We included 294 female football players (22±4 years, range: 16–37) in the study. The average response rate to the weekly questionnaire was 79% (SD: ±9%). On average, 32% (95% CI, 31% to 33%) of the players reported at least one health problem at any time and 22% (95% CI, 21% to 23%) reported a health problem negatively affecting their training volume or performance. Acute injuries caused the greatest burden of all health problems (68% of the total burden), followed by overuse injuries (25%) and illness (8%). Thigh was the most common injury location (n=143, 26% of all cases), but knee injuries caused the greatest time-loss (42% of total time-loss).
Conclusion One in five players in the women’s premier league in Norway had a health problem negatively affecting their training volume or performance at any time. Acute injuries represented the most burdensome health problem. Thigh injuries were most frequent while knee injuries caused the greatest time-loss.
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