The Relationship Between Pre-season Muscle Strength and Endurance and Subsequent In-Season Lower Extremity Injury in Division I Soccer Players

Abstract

Context: Lower extremity muscle strains account for 25% of all soccer injuries. The literature suggests the mechanism of muscle strains is forced excessive range of motion and/or activation of the muscle during stretch. Predictive characteristics of players’ susceptibility to these injuries have not been established. Objective: This study investigated the predictive values of preseason hip adductor to abductor isometric muscle strength and single leg wall sit times to lower extremity muscle injury. Subjects: Forty-nine male and female soccer players were studied. Methods: Subjects’ strength ratios and wall sit times were recorded prior to beginning the pre-season training period. Subjects’ lower extremity muscle strain injury occurrences were recorded throughout the regular season. Results: Logistic Regression was performed to determine the predictive values of the hip adductor to abductor isometric muscle strength ratio, contralateral strength ratio, wall sit time, and the bilateral difference between wall sit times. Trends were noted that suggest a high predictive value of the ipsilateral adductor to abductor strength ratio for adductor injury (odds ratio = 13.86, p = .198), as well as a moderate predictive value of the contralateral strength ratio for hamstring strain (odds ratio = 8.68, p = .357). The difference between wall sit times also showed moderate predictive value of general lower extremity muscle injury (predictor score = 4.21, p < .05). Conclusions: Adductor to abductor strength ratio and single leg wall sit times can be associated with lower extremity injury. Therefore, assessing and correcting these values can prevent lower extremity injuries.