Could targeted exercise programmes prevent lower limb injury in community Australian football?

Nadine Elizabeth Andrew, Belinda Jane Gabbe, Jillianne Leigh Cook, David Lloyd, Cyril Donnelly, Clare Marguerite Mary Nash, Caroline Frances Finch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Australian football is a popular sport in Australia, at both the community and elite levels. It is a high-speed contact sport with a higher incidence of medically treated injuries when compared with most other organized sports. Hamstring injuries, ligament injuries to the knee or ankle, hip/groin injuries and tendinopathies are particularly common and often result in considerable time lost from sport. Consequently, the prevention of lower limb injuries is a priority for both community and elite Australian football organizations. There is considerable literature available on exercise programmes aimed at reducing lower limb injuries in Australian football and other running-related sports. The quality and outcomes of these studies have varied considerably, but indicate that exercise protocols may be an effective means of preventing lower limb injuries. Despite this, there has been limited high-quality and systematic evaluation of these data. Objective: The aim of this literature review is to systematically evaluate the evidence about the benefits of lower limb injury prevention exercise protocols aimed at reducing the most common severe lower limb injuries in Australian football. Methods: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Cochrane Bone Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialized Register, MEDLINE and other electronic databases were searched, from January 1990 to December 2010. Papers reporting the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, cohort and case-control studies were extracted. Primary outcomes were injury reduction or risk factor identification and/or modification. Secondary outcomes were adherence to any trialled interventions, injury severity and adverse effects such as secondary injuries and muscle soreness. The methodological quality of extracted manuscripts was assessed and results were collated. Results: Forty-seven papers were identified and reviewed of which 18 related to hamstring injury, eight related
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751 - 763
Number of pages13
JournalSports Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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