Artificial turf and injury risk

Many people are of the opinion that football should be played on natural grass, and that artificial turf could potentially increase risk of injury. Quite often, and particularly in Scandinavia, is artificial turf beneficial as a pitch surface, due to lower cost of maintenance and that it can better tolerate a high usage. Hence, more and more pitches with artificial turf are being installed throughout the world. An important question in regard to artificial turf is how injury risk in football is affected, both in terms of regular playing load on artificial turf, and frequent surface shifts between artificial turf and natural grass. This article will in short discuss the current literature in regard to artificial turf and injury risk. Type of artificial turf Artifical turf has been around for several decades, and the first generations that were introduced during the 1970s showed increased risk of injuries compared to natural grass (8). Since then, more modern turfs called third-generation artifical turfs have been developed to better replicate regular natural grass. These have shown to have better cushioning capabilities, and maintain softness over time (9). Since the early 2000s, these third-generation turfs have been the most widely used type of artificial turf. Continue Reading