Effect of poor cooperation between coaching and medical staff on muscle re-injury in professional football over 15 seasons
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Background: Muscle injury is the most common type of injury in football. Previous research has focused on traditional risk factors (eg, age, injury history, muscle imbalance/ inflexibility) contributing to muscle re-injury. The effect of poor cooperation between the coaching and medical teams on the risk of re-injury remains unexplored in the sports medicine football literature. Purpose: Examine the effect of poor cooperation between coaching and medical teams on muscle re-injury in professional football. Methods: Retrospective review of the medical files of 97 footballers of a professional team in Dubai over 15 consecutive seasons (2002–2017). Medical team recorded all injuries in each player’s file. Data on the perceived level of cooperation between coaching and medical teams were available in the daily meeting notes from the head of the medical team. The level of perceived cooperation was ranked on a three-point Likert scale by the head of the medical team and depended on whether the coaching team accepted the player injury (excellent cooperation), brought some suggestion after discussion with the medical team (normal cooperation) or rejected it (poor cooperation). Results: In total, 338 indirect muscle injuries (21 re-injuries) were recorded during 15 consecutive seasons., There was a significant increase in the mean number of total injuries (mean ± SE, 95% CI; 16±2, 12–21; P<0.0001), mean number of indirect muscle injuries (12±1, 95% CI 10–14; P<0.0001), and indirect muscle re-injuries (4±1, 95% CI 3–5; P<0.0001) during seasons with a poor perceived level of cooperation compared to seasons with a normal/excellent perceived level of cooperation. Conclusion: Findings suggest that poor cooperation between coaching and medical teams may increase the risk of muscle re injury in professional football. Future studies conducted in different clubs, leagues, countries, and even sports are required to further explore the effect of cooperation between coaching and medical teams on the risk of re-injury.