Stay injury free this season

Nov 9, 2016

The new football season may have inspired you or a loved one to clean off the football boots and get involved with a local club. There’s no doubt that the beautiful game is as popular as ever at grass roots level. The FA has reported that 8.2 million (one in five) adults now actively participate in some way.

Whether it’s 5-a-side or Sunday league, football has the potential to cause serious injury beyond the capability of the ‘magic sponge’ to heal. We take a look at some of the most common injuries experienced by professionals and amateurs alike and ways to avoid them. Whilst we focus on football in this article, the injuries discussed are common in a host of field sports such as hockey, netball and rugby too.

Hamstring strain

The hamstrings run down the back of the leg between the glutes and the knee. They are important for running and kicking and so obviously play an important role in football. A damaged hamstring can be very painful and can take up to a month to heal. If not given the proper attention a hamstring that has been damaged once will be much more likely to give repeat problems in the future. Best to seek out professional advice.

To reduce the risk of hamstring injury you should focus on warming up your legs with jogs / sprints and invest some quality time in stretching before the game.

Ankle sprain

This is a difficult injury to guard against as it is usually caused by a freak impact or unnatural movement such as standing awkwardly on the ball or being on the receiving end of an ‘overly enthusiastic’ tackle. What’s more concerning about ankle sprains is the potential that they have to cause lasting damage. All too often players will limp off and try to ‘run it off’. An ankle sprain is the over-stretching, tearing or even the complete breaking of important ligaments in the ankle. If they become damaged then it is important that they’re treated properly so that they heal correctly and don’t cause further problems. ‘Playing through it’ is probably the worst thing you could do. Appointments can be made to see a physiotherapist at Chapman Physiotherapy here.

Shin splints

These are surprisingly common and they can be extremely painful, with even simple tasks like walking, becoming unbearable. This injury has a variety of causes but they are all broadly linked to running techniques and the biomechanics around running. They are slow to come on, it is unlikely that one match or training session will cause the injury, rather a certain issue will trigger it over the course of a season. If your shins feel tender then it is advisable to get your running technique examined by a physiotherapist who will be able to highlight where you are putting unnecessary strain on your shins and how to avoid it. As well as this they will be able to help you improve your speed and energy efficiency too. Book an appointment with a physiotherapist at Chapman Physiotherapy.

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