How to Avoid Injuries in Football

Now that we are in October and the football season is well underway I start to see lots of footballers in clinic, whether a Sunday league footballer or semi-professional, adult or child. The type of injuries I see in football vary, but the vast majority are in the lower body. Most of the injuries I see related to are muscle tears to the calf, hamstring, groin or quadricep muscle groups, sprained ankles and growing pain in children. The less common injuries such as knee ligament injuries (strains or tears), shin splints or fractures. In football, most of the injuries I see can be prevented, particularly those muscular injuries. In this blog I am going to put down the main points in reducing the occurrence of injury in football.

Warm up
A perfect warm up for football should be lasting 20-30 minutes. This should begin with some gentle jogging, followed by some dynamic stretching and moving into sports-specific drills for the game or training session ahead. Doing this massively reduces the chance of a muscular injury happening as the muscles are already warm and flexible before the session starts. A thorough warm up is even more appropriate as winter approaches.

Cool down
This is very similar to the importance of a warm up in preventing muscular injuries. A cool down doesn’t need to last as long as a warm up and can be done in 10 minutes. Ideally a cool down should be started within five minutes of the game ending and should consist of some gentle running followed by static stretches. This helps to reduce the effects of any muscle tightness and fatigue. Without cooling down, muscles become tighter and tighter leading to injury, reduced flexibility and a decrease in performance.

Training Programme
Whether you’re a child or adult you need to look at what sport or exercise you are doing over the rest of the week besides football. Doing too much sport places a lot of stress on your body and doesn’t allow it time to recover so make sure you have a couple of rest days as part of your training. In children, I often see that some are doing a different form of sport every day with school sports and PE, this sometimes needs to be moderated to allow the proper rest required. Too much exercise will cause an injury!

Sports Therapy
My job as a Sports Therapist is to get someone from injury to being back on the football pitch. I will do a thorough assessment of an injury followed by treatment and a well planned and individual rehabilitation programme. This is proven to not only provide someone returns to sport quicker but also reduces the occurrence of the same injury coming back again.

Strength and Conditioning
I would recommend one session once a week doing strengthening work on certain muscles and areas of the body that people normally wouldn’t do. For example strengthening work on your core muscles reduces the chances of groin injuries happening.

All of these combined will see a reduction in the number or injuries happening at your club. For any further information do get in contact or if you’re interested in getting discounted rates for your football club then feel free to speak to me.

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