Korean J Sports Med.  2014 Jun;32(1):37-43. 10.5763/kjsm.2014.32.1.37.

A Preliminary Study on Musculoskeletal Pain in K-League Referees: A Complete Survey

  • 1Department of Football, Honam University, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Hanseo University, Seosan, Korea. rehab.youngin@gmail.com


The environment around working process of the referees during matches will burden him or her physically by doing specific actions frequently and give negative effects on musculoskeletal system. In order to find out musculoskeletal pain has occurred on specific muscles, surveys have been taken by 44 referees in K-league for this thesis. We evaluated the differences between referee and assistant referee. Fourteen (87.5%) referees and twenty-four (89.3%) assistant referees stated that they had one musculoskeletal pain. For referees, 43.8% had hamstring pains, 31.3% had calf muscle pains, and 25% had low back pains. For assistant referees, 39.3% felt knee pains, 32.1% had adductors pains, 28.5% felt calf muscle pains. Therefore, with the data analysis by dividing their roles, both groups had similar effect on hamstring and knee joint. For the question asking for the personal reasons of the pains were 61.4% of 'Carelessness of physical fitness', 47.7% of 'repetition of certain actions', and 43.2% of 'lack of treatment after being damaged'. Also, in order to prevent pain, the referees answered that they train personally (40.9%), rest appropriately (20.5%), and go to hospital for treatment (18.2%). After receiving the result of this study, training programs and education are needed to prevent pain. Moreover, on the next study, fundamental causes of the pains should be found by using history taking, physical examination, medical and scientific machines in order to analyze the movements of the referees' human dynamics.


Musculoskeletal pain; Football; Referee
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