Barça publish Leicester physio expertise

An international expert in Achilles and calf injuries from the University of Leicester has contributed to a new guide published by FC Barcelona.

Dr Seth O’Neill is an Associate Professor in Physiotherapy, and is internationally recognised for his research into Achilles tendinopathy, calf injuries, and other lower leg injuries. He regularly consults for professional athletes with these often complex injuries.

His work examines the risk factors related to these injuries, and both their treatment and prevention. He also studies tendon structure and the changes that can occur with changes in health.

Now, he has contributed four chapters to the world-famous football club’s latest guide on tendon injuries – a widespread problem in professional sport.

Achilles tendon injuries account for 2.5% of all football injuries with pre-season being the most common time for problems to occur. Senior players, usually among the oldest in the squad, are more likely to suffer this condition and it often leads to early retirement. 

Dr O’Neill said: “It was a real honour and privilege to be invited by respected international colleagues to contribute to four important chapters on epidemiology and risk factors associated with Achilles tendon problems, their clinical management and also return-to-play decision making.

“This book will help medical teams working in elite sport but also have important information for management of more typical NHS patients. I have been involved with the FC Barcelona Innovation Hub for some time, initially with the application for European funding to support their conferences and then over the following few years actually presenting at the conference on my two research areas – calf injuries and Achilles tendon problems.”

Dr O’Neill has previously presented his work at the Barça Innovation Hub’s Sports Medicine Conference, as well as FIFA’s Football Medicine Outcomes Conference, also held at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou home. He is currently undertaking work with the Football Association (FA) on the treatment of calf injuries in English football.

Alongside this, Dr O’Neill supervises PhD researcher Matt Lee (Head of Medicine at Northampton Saints RFC) to better understand and manage tendon complaints across Premiership Rugby.