More than 800,000 people experience a lower extremity injury — injuries to the entire leg, foot, ankle, knee, or hip – every year in the United States. That’s troubling because these injuries are often disabling and costly. It is estimated that the cost of providing care for such injuries is nearly $567 million annually.
For athletes, there is another cost: time. It can take weeks to months to recover from ankle and knee ligament injuries. Serious injuries to the knee may be season ending and often require surgical management. Additionally, after the original injury, athletes are at high risk for the developing post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
For other athletes, the cost is the end of a career in sport because some may never see a return to full function.
That’s why we need a program like FIFA 11+, the kind of injury prevention program that decreases lower extremity injury and helps youth participate in sports and develop active lifestyles, decreases health care costs, and increases athletic performance.
What is FIFA 11+?
FIFA 11+ was developed by an international group of experts to decrease lower extremity injury in soccer athletes ages 14 years and up. It’s a pre-practice warm-up program that is low-cost, time-efficient (it takes less than 15 minutes) and easy for coaches to administer. FIFA 11+ must be performed two times per week to be effective. It consists of exercises to increase strength, improve coordination, and teach running strategy. See all of the exercises by clicking here.
Does FIFA 11+ Work to Reduce Injury?
FIFA 11+ decreases lower extremity and knee injuries in soccer by up to 72 percent in 13-25 year old athletes. Five studies (of soccer and basketball athletes) showed a decrease in injury rates among athletes using the program. There appears to be a significant dose effect as athletes doing FIFA 11+ more frequently than two times per week saw a greater reduction in injury rates.
Who does FIFA 11+?
FIFA 11+ is a program used by many national teams and Olympic teams. There is a high compliance with use of the program and those with higher compliance have lower numbers of injuries.
Why Try FIFA 11+?
- FIFA 11 + is a great injury prevention program and can be used by teams instead of their typical warm-up program.
- FIFA 11+ can even save practice time because the 15-minute program takes less time than typical teams warm-ups.
- FIFA 11+ comes with the benefits of sufficiently warming-up athletes, preventing injury, and increasing strength.
Take a moment and go to the FIFA + website and watch the video. Share the manual and videos with your children, friends, and coaches. The exercises can even be downloaded to your iPhone, personal computer, or as slide presentation. Could we ask for anything more – a smartphone app to decrease injury in increase strength! Now that’s truly smart!
James Slauterbeck, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Vermont Medical Center and associate professor at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM. He is also the team physician for UVM Athletics.