1Instructor, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Medicine, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran
2Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
3Instructor, Department of Physical Therapy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
4Instructor, Department of Biostatistics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
5Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Paramedicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: Lower limbs’ nerves are exposed to mechanical injuries in athletes (e.g. football players), because of the excessive physical demand of their job. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the influence of regular and intense sports, such as football, on nerves in the lower leg. This study was conducted during 2006 to 2007 in the Shiraz Rehabilitation Faculty, University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Methods: Nerve conduction studies were done on 20 male college student football players and 15 male inactive students (control) matched for age, height, weight, and foot skin temperature for comparison. Standard nerve conduction techniques using constant measured distances were applied to evaluate the tibial and common peroneal nerves in the dominant and nondominant limbs of each individual. Results: The motor latency of deep peroneal and tibial nerves of the dominant leg of football players was significantly prolonged compared with the inactive group (P < 0.05). Moreover, sensory latency of superficial peroneal, tibial, and compound nerve action potential (CNAP) of tibial nerves of both legs (dominant and nondominant) in football players was significantly prolonged in comparison with the control group (P < 0.05). There were significant delays of motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity (NCV) of tibial and common peroneal nerves in football players in comparison with the control group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: It is concluded that, in athletes, the limbs involved in sport will be exposed to different external and internal damage and trauma. In other words, football is a sport with high contact and as a result it causes sub-clinical neuropathies due to nerve entrapment.