top of page

Calf Injuries in Football

In modern football, with its intensity and with its accelerations and decelerations, soleus injuries has become more common.

In a 2011 study by Jan Ekstrand; Epidemiology of muscle injuries in professional football (soccer), published by the American Journal sport Medicine, showed how injuries to the calf muscles accounted for 13% of the total injuries recorded.

In a 2017 study related to the analysis of a multi-sport champion, Brandy Green in her article; Calf muscle strain injuries in sport: a systematic review of risk factors for injury, published by the British journal sport Medicine highlighted how previous injuries in the same area and advancing age were important risk factors.

Managing important athletes but with recurring injuries to the soleus has become quite common in the Italian championship, for this reason the availability and use for the biomechanical (or for anyone involved in injury prevention) tool as Myontec MSleeve has become essential.

This tool falls into the category of wearable technologies, allowing the great advantage of performing an evaluation in a context of normal sporting activity, thus respecting the performance model and the specific sport gesture. It has an on-board sensor capable of analyzing, even at 100 hertz, the electrical activity of muscles such as the soleus, gastrocnemius, and tibialis.

In addition, in the same hardware there is an IMU (inertial measurement unit) sensor, also capable of recording all three-dimensional accelerations at 100 hertz together with the angular speeds and their direction thanks to gyroscopes.

The presence of the electromyographic signal at the tibial level is also important for football. In fact, in running and in runners, the tibial stress syndrome was highlighted, a problem that requires a period of rest from sports activities. Michael J Arnold, Common Running Injuries: Evaluation and Management, Am Fam Physician. 2018 Apr 15; 97 (8)

How to Use It?

The advantage of wearable technologies is due to the possibility of evaluating the same athlete in a laboratory, therefore in an environment protected from variables, and on the pitch in a context that is highly specific to sporting activity and to the movements that are usual for the tested player. The possibility of having a comparison between these two different environmental conditions allows us to have an important series of additional information to evaluate the player realistically and correctly, therefore with a much higher degree of injury prediction ability.

In the laboratory we should be able to propose tests that are able to reproduce a specific sport gesture, in football for example a lateral shift of the load.

The image above, derived from a video, can inform us about the different activations of the calf muscles in the left or right lateral movement, informing us about the ability of the lower limbs