Review of the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport

Review of the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport

Last week I was attending the International Olympic Committee World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
It is a three day conference that takes place every 3 years and where the most famous researchers, doctors, professors, physiotherapist,… gather together to talk about the most recent news in sports medicine.

Like the previous editions (and the next one who will take place in 2020), it was in Monaco.
The conference was very well organized with perfect timing, great food and drinks (included in the registration fee) and most important, lot of possibilities to talk and exchange with everybody present at this conference.

Just to give you an idea of the speakers, this is a short and non exhaustive list of some of them :
Willem Van Mechelen, Roald Bahr, Erik Witvrouw, Jill Cook, Martin Hägglund.

The welcome reception was hosted by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.

It was a very interesting conference because various sports and injuries were talked about.
Specialist from all around the globe were present (Australia, Botswana, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, USA,…)

Content of the conference : 

  • The most alarming number is that 50% of re-injury occurs within 25 days after the first injury and that the time between severe injuries shortens with each subsequent injury.

==> The more you get injured, the more risk you have to get injured again !

  • Screenings (testing, imaging) can predict what group is at risk to get injured but it can not predict which athlete will be injured inside this group.
  • Medical imaging is not enough to decide a Return To Play because they can give wrong information about the injury (it can seem closed but is not fully repaired or can look like there is still an edema but clinically there are no signs of problems)
  • The Nordic Hamstring Program (eccentric exercices of the hamstrings) has been proven to work to prevent injuries in the hamstring but is not enough used because coaches think that it will fatigue the muscle too much. If you do it progressively (2 set of 4 to 6 repetitions) and implement it into a 10 weeks program, you can prevent a lot of hamstring injuries.
  • After the Doha Conference about Groin Pain, they agreed on definitions about the causes of the problem and made a strengthening program for the adductor muscles called the Norwegian adductor strengthening exercice program.
  • Coordination training induce cognitive and motor benefits, « nothing » happens in the brain if you ask him to do 4 sets of 15 repetitions, he needs to be stimulated to induce this change. ACL ruptures often occur when the brain is not ready to react. If you train him (the brain) correctly and stimulate him while exercising you can minimize the risk of loosing your players for a long period.


If you want to discuss some parts more in detail or need the references for the scientific reviews, I am available at : and we can plan a skype session.


Things to remember : 

  • Screening can not prevent 100% of injuries
  • Individualized prevention programs should be done at least 2 or 3 times a week
  • Fatigue can lead to bad motor control and result into severe injuries (ACL rupture for example)
  • Cognitive exercices should be implemented in your trainings (counting down while working out for example)
  • Communication with and between the staff and the athlete is crucial.
  • Listen to your body !
  • Check my website regularly for exercices or new scientific reviews.


Thank you for reading my review,


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