Increasing participation by women in Australian football (AF) has made understanding their specific injury prevention needs a priority. In other sports, men and women have different injury profiles. This study aims to provide the first overview of self-reported injuries in women's AF.
Nationwide survey of women aged 17+ years who played in an AF competition was conducted following the 2014 playing season. The players' self-reported worst injury from the 2014 season is presented according to injury type, body part injured, treatment sought and games/training missed.
Three-quarters of 553 respondents (n=431, 78%) reported at least 1 injury. Over half (n=235, 55%) of injuries were to the lower limb. Ankle ligament tears/sprains (n=50, 12% of all injuries) and knee ligament tears/sprains (n=45, 10%) were most frequent lower limb injuries reported. Two-thirds (65%) of all lower limb injuries led to at least 1 missed game. Of 111 (26% of all injuries) upper limb injuries reported, over half (n=57, 62%) were to the hand/fingers/thumb, including fractures (n=28, 6% of all injuries), ligament tears/sprains (n=18, 4%) and dislocations (n=11, 3%). Half of the upper limb injuries (51%) resulted in players missing matches/training.
The most frequent self-reported worst injuries for women playing AF were joint damage to the ankle and knee. A prospective injury study is needed to confirm the causes and rate of these lower limb injuries to identify the most suitable prevention interventions.