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1. Introduction to epidemiology
2. Soccer injury epidemiology
3. Reliability of soccer injury epidemiology studies
4. Ekstrand and Gillquist propose stretching and strengthening
5. Keller et al advocate warm up and stretching
6. Hawkins and Fuller identify fatigue as a factor
7. Conclusion
8. References

Overall, the value of football injury epidemiological data to the clinician working with football players is limited. The findings of such research should be interpreted with care. Often the causes of injury are multi-factorial, with each of the contributing factors difficult to measure objectively. In epidemiological terms, it is pragmatic to refer to component causes of injury which comprise necessary and sufficient causes of injury. In football injury these causes comprise of collisions, fatigue, overuse, muscle imbalance, poor technique, inadequate strength, inappropriate diet and other such factors which have been described in the literature as etiological.

In research terms, the difficulty arises when attempts are made to operationalise these concepts. The fact that epidemiogical research takes place in the sporting environment means that there is a lack of research control and a subsequent question mark over the validity of this research. The clinician can draw a general understanding of the etiology and mechanism of injury based on epidemiological research, but the wholesale implementation of strategies designed to reduce injury based on current evidence is not exact, and therefore not completely reliable. Although causation is difficult to pin down, the evidence at present allows the clinician to identify associations. In the absence of experimental evidence, these factors help guide the clinical reasoning process.

References >