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UEFA•Medicine Matters highlights progress


The latest edition of UEFA's medical publication UEFA•Medicine Matters highlights the development of the football medical sector and the ongoing commitment to progress.

The latest UEFA Medical Symposium took place in Madrid
The latest UEFA Medical Symposium took place in Madrid ©Sportsfile

Evolution was the key theme at UEFA's recent Medical Symposium in Madrid. The latest edition of UEFA's medical publication UEFA•Medicine Matters celebrates the continuous development of the football medical sector and the real commitment to progress demonstrated by the European football medicine community.

"It is this desire within the football medical community to learn, to develop, to share and, most importantly, to innovate which continues to ensure that football leads the way in areas such as injury research, education and player safety," says UEFA Medical Committee chairman Dr Michel D'Hooghe in his column.

"It is also my immense pleasure to witness what is now a real European football medicine community in development," Dr D'Hooghe adds. "UEFA's education programmes, its competitions, its doctors' forums and events such as the symposium are helping bring together medical specialists from all corners of the continent, in an atmosphere of friendship, mutual respect and cordiality. This is an incredible achievement and one in which all doctors within European football should take great pride."

In particular, Dr D'Hooghe greets the desire to share ideas and good practices that UEFA is also promoting through its innovative Football Doctor Education Programme which nurtures the exchange of crucial medical information across Europe – benefiting European football as a whole.

"It has been my privilege to attend four UEFA symposiums, where I have seen medical professionals who have devoted their careers to football medicine sitting alongside younger doctors and physiotherapists who are just starting out," he says, "all sharing their knowledge, experience and new ideas with a view to reducing injuries, improving performance within the limits of the law and ensuring the finest standards of care are available for players when they have the misfortune to suffer a serious injury."

Edition No22 of UEFA•Medicine Matters includes articles on heat stress and football, regeneration and recovery from fatigue, and the age effect in Spanish professional football. There is also a review of the UEFA Elite Club Injury Study for the 2012/13 season. This report is a vital source of information on injuries specific to football – and provides clubs with essential data that will help them in their own work in treating and preventing player injuries.

"The clubs give us their data on injuries that cause absence from training and matches, as well as data about players' exposure," says Jan Ekstrand, UEFA Medical Committee vice-chairman and head of the research group which oversees the study.

"Our database is the largest of its kind in the world, and it allows us to send lots of information back to the clubs – for example, data about how long it takes for certain injuries to heal, what the trends are, and which clubs are effective in keeping players on the pitch."

Michel D'Hooghe expresses the view that sport science will advance even further, with new injury treatments and medical responses certain to emerge. "The role of the doctor," he reflects, "will be to manage this development, while always keeping in mind the ethics of sport. To protect our game, the doctor must continue to put players' physiological integrity and psychological well-being above any other considerations."

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