Injury prevention in soccer plays out on global stage

Study of FIFA-sponsored warm-up program stars at international congress.

Published in the August 2008 issue of BioMechanics magazine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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On June 28, the last day of the World Congress on Sports Injury Prevention in Tromsö, Norway, attendees who might have been nodding off after a week of 24-hour daylight were jolted awake when symposium chair Jiri Dvorak, MD, excitedly raced up to the podium brandishing his BlackBerry. Dvorak, a professor of neurology at Schulthess Clinic in Zurich and the chief medical officer for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), announced that he had received a text message from a FIFA executive in response to a press release issued by the congress the previous day.

This was a busy time for officials of the global soccer organization, as preparations were under way for the next day’s Euro2008 finals match between Germany and Spain. But at least one of them had taken notice of the press release’s description of a Norwegian study, presented earlier in the congress, in which a warm-up program developed by FIFA’s medical research team was associated with injury reductions of up to 50% in female soccer players.

The first word of the FIFA executive’s message to Dvorak: Bravo.

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Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239