Mechanisms of sports injuries among professional footballers: A Review

  • PO Ibikundle
  • UK Ani
  • U Useh
  • CO Akosile
Keywords: Collision, contact injury, non-contact injury, professional footballers, sports injuries.


Football is an impact collision sport, with injuries occurring in both contact and non-contact situations. Injuries may be caused by complex interactions between internal and external risk factors. The internal factors such as age, sex, and body compositions may influence the risk of sustaining injuries, predisposing the player to injury, and are therefore by definitions risk factors. The main purpose of this study was to review articles and draw attention to the prevalence, severity and mechanism of football injuries. A review of 22 published articles was done using the Health internetwork access to Research (HINARI) Database. Search terms were sport injuries, injuries among Professional footballers, severity of football injuries, and prevalence of football injuries. Only articles in English literature were retrieved. No other search limit was set. prospective cohort, retrospective, cross sectional studies were chosen and in-depth interviews for review. Eleven articles were of prospective cohort study design; seven were retrospective studies, two cross sectional and two in- depth interview method. The articles revealed that the risk of injury in professional football is substantial; its prevalence astronomical and extremely severe. Injuries also affect performance in a negative way and teams that can avoid injuries have greater success as evaluated by their position in the league system. Prevention of injury in football is of utmost importance, and conducting an injury surveillance study is fundamental and first step in the sequence of prevention. On the mechanism of the injuries, their result showed that tackling/being tackled, jumping, landing, turning and twisting; running, shooting and collisions are the mechanism of football injuries. Most sprains occurred either after a tackling situation or after a change in direction It can be concluded from the review that the major mechanisms of traumatic football injuries were tackling/being tackled, jumping, landing, turning, falling and collisions with other players/opponents. Players’ age, role/position of play, history of previous injuries, and psychological factors (like self-confidence, fear, somatic trait anxiety, aggression, poor stress coping ability) were identified as predictors of sports injuries in most of the literatures that the researchers reviewed.

Keywords: Collision, contact injury, non-contact injury, professional footballers, sports injuries.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939