The relationship between functional movement analysis and lowerbody injury rates in adolescent female football players

  • DCJ van Rensburg
  • AJ van Rensburg
  • PC Zondi
  • S Hendricks
  • CC Grant
  • L Fletcher


Objective. To determine whether a relationship exists between the functional movement analysis (FMA) score and lower-body injury rates in high-performance adolescent female football players.
Method. Observations included a baseline FMA score and medical injury reports. Data were collected from 24 players’ injury and illness records over a 38-week training period. All football injuries requiring medical attention (including stiffness, strains, contusions and sprains) and/or the removal from a session, leading to training restriction, were included in the study. Off-season weeks were excluded. Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient was calculated to assess the strength of the linear relationship between the FMA score and the number of medical visits, and between the number of medical visits and the number of training-restriction days.
Results. There was no evidence of a relationship between the FMA score and injury risk in teenage female football players (r=0.016; p=0.940). A strong indication of a cyclical season in the training schedule was noticed over the 38-week study period. A substantive negative correlation (r=-0.911; p=0.032) was seen in the number of medical visits compared with the training-restriction days. Injuries during two peak periods could have resulted from overuse, increased training load, stress and overtraining.
Conclusion. It could not be shown that a high FMA score was associated with a lower risk of injury. The ultimate goal is thus to reduce recurrent injury in players with a high FMA count. The regular medical visits observed suggest that player condition is maintained by means of reducing injury and managing training-restriction days. Our findings are in accordance with previous studies in terms of the lower limb being the most frequent region of injury, specifically the knee. This study supports previous suggestions that it is essential to develop a prevention strategy to measure trauma and recovery.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-516X
print ISSN: 1015-5163