Dr Andrew Ullo (Chiropractor)
Throughout Europe most elite football leagues have a winter break that coincides with the middle of the football season. Yet, in England there is no scheduled winter break. The effect of the absence of a winter break on injury rates has not been looked at.
In 2018, one study aimed to compare injury rates among professional men’s football teams that have a winter break in their league season schedule with corresponding rates in teams that do not.
Their study included 56 teams from 15 European countries during seven consecutive seasons from 2010/2011 to 2016/2017, with a total of 206 team seasons. All teams participated in the highest level of domestic competition and some also participated regularly in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League competitions. Teams from 14 different countries (35 teams, 131 team seasons) had winter break; it was only the English teams (21 teams, 75 team seasons) that did not have one.
They managed to find an association between the teams that lacked a winter break (English clubs), who had a higher injury burden. As well as a higher incidence of severe injuries following the time of the year that other teams (other European clubs) had their scheduled break. They specifically found a greater injury burden per season for teams without a winter break compared with teams with a winter break. On average, elite football teams that did not have a winter break lost on average 303 player-days more per season to injuries than those teams that do take a break.
These findings should encourage teams that don’t take break in the off season to take a mini break, instead of engaging in formal or informal programmes straight away. Anyone that is suffering from a football injury that needs treatment or an assessment should call our office in Balgowlah today on 9948 2826 and book an appointment with one of our Chiropractors to help get them back on the field asap.
J Ekstrand, et al, “Elite football teams that do not have a winter break lose on average 303 player-days more per season to injuries than those teams that do: a comparison among 35 professional European teams.” . Br J Sports Med 2018;0:1–5