MASH-Doctor behind Research Project
Thursday at noon 850 people had been to the MASH tent at Dana Cup 2016 due to injuries sustained on the football pitch, in their spare time or due to illness. But how many are actually injured, who are they and what kind of injuries do they sustain?
Those are questions that doctor Peter Agger from Aarhus University Hospital has been asking himself several times for the last 11 years. Along with a handful of colleagues, he has just completed a research project, which has been based on Dana Cup from 2012 to 2014, that is three editions of the world's third largest football tournament for youth.
'From the survey we can conclude a number of facts but we need more data,' says Peter Agger, who has had to collect three years of data, so far.
'In Denmark we must keep a record, also at Dana Cup, so the data was right there. Basically, we just had to look at the data from start to finish. So far, we can see that the girls are generally more injured than the boys – at least, they have come to the MASH tent more often than the boys. We know that there are differences in muscle, joint and bone strength in girls and boys. Consequently, there might be a physiological explanation. But there might also be a cultural difference, because we know that women are more likely to see a doctor than men, and it might be the same for girls and boys,' underlines Peter Agger, who has noticed that more players get injured at the end of the tournament than in the beginning.
'We cannot immediately see why, but it might have something to do with fatigue, but it might also have something to do with the fact that the longer the teams progress in the tournament the more sacrifices the players bring in order to achieve a good sporting result. And that can mean more injuries,' the doctor thinks.
'The research project will continue since we will add this year's data in order to make preparations for next year's Dana Cup even better. If we know that there are more ankle and knee injuries than arm and shoulder injuries, we could bring more crutches, for instance. But by collecting more data we will be able to focus on even more aspects of the injuries. We can focus on specific types of injuries, but we also know that those who seek help in the MASH tent come for reasons other than sport injuries. Do illness or injuries occur in a small place with many young people?' ponders Peter Agger, who expects to collect data for another two or three Dana Cups before he and his colleagues may be able to answer more of their questions.