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Body Composition and Morphological Asymmetries in University Level Soccer Players

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Context: While soccer is considered a lateral dominant sport, few studies have examined if limb dominancy leads to asymmetries in body composition and their possible associations with injury (1). 

Objective: The purpose of this study was to 1) investigate body composition morphological asymmetries in male and female university-level soccer players, and 2) examine whether the degree of body composition asymmetry is associated with lower leg injuries (LLI) and lower back pain (LBP). 

Design: A total of 27 soccer players (12 females, 15 males) from Concordia University were included in the study. Body composition measurements were acquired by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). A self-reported questionnaire was used to gather demographic information and history of LBP and LLI. 

Results: Our findings revealed some significant side-to-side asymmetries in arm bone mass (p=0.02), arm lean body mass (0.02) and total bone mass (p=0.04) (e.g. all parameters were greater on the right side) in male players, while total lean mass was significantly greater on the left side in female players (p=0.02). The pattern of asymmetry was not consistent between male and females and no asymmetry in the leg or trunk body segments were observed. We found no association between the degree of right-to-left asymmetry with LBP and LLI. 

Conclusion: Lateral dominance and expected morphological asymmetries in university-level soccer players may be attenuated by other factors within the sports that warrant further investigation.


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