Introduction Exercise programmes have been used to prevent injuries in military personnel, as they can reduce modifiable risk factors for injuries. Our aim was to review the literature to evaluate the effects of different exercise protocols on the prevention of injuries in military personnel.
Methods A systematic literature review examined the effects of different exercise protocols on the prevention of musculoskeletal injuries in the military. Several databases were explored to find experimental studies that investigated the effects of prevention programmes on the risk of injury. We have extracted from the studies: profile of participants, sample size, study design and characteristics of the control group (CG), the type of intervention and the relative risk (RR) in the experimental group and CG, with their significance levels. For data analysis, we used the RevMan V.5.3 software. The measure of RR was investigated. The risk of publication bias was analysed with Begg’s test.
Results A total of 13 694 titles and studies were recovered from the databases and by manual search. After the removal of duplicate titles and studies that did not meet the eligibility criteria, 17 studies were selected. The protocols were composed of neuromuscular training, stretching, agility training or combined exercises. The meta-analysis showed that injury prevention exercise programmes reduced the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in military personnel by 14% (RR=0.86; 95% CI=0.76 to 0.98).
Conclusion Injury prevention exercise programmes promoted a slight reduction in the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in military personnel.
Level of evidence Very low.
Trial registration number CRD 42017077946.
- medical physics
- occupational & industrial medicine
- musculoskeletal disorders
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Not applicable.
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Contributors PSB was the lead author using data collected and reports written. PSB and EBS prepared the review project, as well as the writing of the final version of the manuscript. RS, MM, GS, GdPS, RC and JdSE were independent evaluators of the following steps: study selection, data extraction and methodological evaluation, in addition to having contributed to the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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