Do hip and groin muscle strength and symptoms change throughout a football season in professional male football players? A prospective cohort study with repeated measures

P. van Klij*, R. Langhout, A. M.C. van Beijsterveldt, J. H. Stubbe, A. Weir, R. Agricola, Y. Fokker, A. B. Mosler, J. H. Waarsing, J. Verhaar, I. Tak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objectives: Groin injuries are common in professional male football and result in significant complaints, time-loss and cost. We aimed to study: 1. Normal values of hip muscle strength and self-reported hip and groin function (Hip And Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS)). 2. Changes in these values throughout the season. 3. If previous (groin) injuries, leg dominance or league were associated with these outcome measures. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: 313 professional male football players (11 clubs) participated. Player characteristics and previous injuries were registered. Hip muscle strength (hand-held dynamometer) and HAGOS measurements were done at the start, middle and end of the season. Results: Data from 217 players were analysed. Adduction strength (mean ± standard deviation, Nm/Kg) was 3.40 ± 0.72 (start), 3.30 ± 0.65 (mid) and 3.39 ± 0.74 (end) (p = 0.186). Abduction strength was 3.45 ± 0.67, 3.14 ± 0.57 and 3.28 ± 0.61 (p < 0.001). Adduction/abduction ratio was 1.00 ± 0.21, 1.07 ± 0.22 and 1.05 ± 0.23 (p < 0.001). Statistically, the HAGOS-subscale ‘Pain’ (median [interquartile range]) deteriorated slightly during the season (p = 0.005), especially from mid-season (97.5 [90.6−100.0]) to end-of-season (95.0 [87.5−100.0]) (p = 0.003). Other subscale scores remained unchanged between time points; 85.7 (symptoms), 100.0 (daily living), 96.9 (sports and recreation) 100.0, (physical activities) and 90.0 (quality of life). Previous injuries were associated with lower HAGOS-scores. Dominant legs had higher abduction strength (p < 0.001) and lower adduction/abduction ratio (p < 0.001). No differences between leagues were found for hip muscle strength and HAGOS-scores. Conclusions: In Dutch male professional football players, hip muscle strength and HAGOS-scores remained relatively stable throughout the season. Pain increased slightly, which while statistically significant, was not clinically relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Volume24
Issue number11
Early online date10 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This prospective study was part of a large-scale study on groin injuries in elite level football players (Groin Injury Prevention Study: GRIP) and was funded by the Taskforce for Applied Research (SIA, reference number 2014-01-15M). The study protocol was approved by the Medical Ethical Committee of Amsterdam University Medical Center (W15_086#15.0100).

Funding Information:
The GRoin Injury Prevention (GRIP) study invited 16 Dutch football clubs from the first and second professional league to participate. This prospective study was part of a large-scale study on groin injuries and was funded by the Taskforce for Applied Research (SIA, reference number 2014-01-15M). 19 The eligibility criteria for inclusion were, aged 18 years or older, playing in the first squad of the club, able to follow Dutch or English instructions, understand the participant information folder and capable of undergoing hip muscle strength testing (e.g. not sick/currently injured). Three different data collection time points were planned; pre-season (June-July 2015); mid-season (October-November 2015) and end-of-season (March 2016). All measurements were performed at the participating club.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

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