JOURNAL ARTICLE

Past-season, pre-season and in-season risk assessment of groin problems in male football players: a prospective full-season study

Ernest Esteve, Marti Casals, Marc Saez, Michael Skovdal Rathleff, Mikkel Bek Clausen, Jordi Vicens-Bordas, Per Hölmich, Tania Pizzari, Kristian Thorborg
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2021 March 10
33692032

OBJECTIVE: We assessed past-season, pre-season and in-season risk factors to investigate their association with an in-season groin problem in male amateur football players.

METHODS: Past-season groin-pain information and pre-season short-lever and long-lever adductor squeeze strength were obtained at baseline, together with anthropometrics (weight, lower limb lever length) and player age. In-season hip-related and groin-related sporting function was monitored every 4 weeks using the Sports and Recreation (Sport) subscale from the Hip And Groin Outcome Score questionnaire (HAGOS (Sport)). Groin problems, including time-loss groin injuries and groin pain irrespective of time loss, were collected over a 39-week competitive in-season. We estimated relative risk (RR), and 95% credibility interval (ICr) from logistic regressions fitted in a Bayesian framework.

RESULTS: Players (n=245) suffering from groin pain during the past-season had 2.4 times higher risk of experiencing a groin problem in the new season (2.40 RR; 95% ICr 1.5 to 3.7). This risk was reduced by 35% (0.65 RR; 95% ICr 0.42 to 0.99) per unit (N·m/kg) increase in the long-lever adductor squeeze test. Player age, short-lever squeeze test and the HAGOS (Sport) scores were not associated with the risk of a groin problem.

CONCLUSIONS: Past-season groin pain increased the risk of a groin problem in the new in-season. This risk was reduced by higher pre-season long-lever adductor squeeze strength. Past-season groin-pain information and long-lever adductor squeeze strength can be quickly obtained during pre-season to identify players with an elevated risk of in-season groin problems. This may be key to reduce these problems in the new season.

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