Football (or Soccer - whichever you choose to call it) is one of the most popular team-based sports in Australia and globally. Football can be demanding on the body as a result of accelerating, decelerating, jumping, cutting, kicking, and heading the ball, and as a result injuries can and do occur.
More injuries occur during game-play than training, and up to 35% are caused by foul play. Some common injuries that occur on the playing field are ankle sprains, ACL injuries, hamstring strains, and calf strains. Factors such as previous injury, joint instability, age, poor physical conditioning, inadequate rehabilitation, exercise overload, and amount and quality of training can all influence the risk of injury.
As a player, good preparation is crucial. Adequate warm up, stretching, and cool down are all necessary to reduce the likelihood of injury. Undertaking appropriate level and amount of training helps the player to increase readiness to play. Pre-habilitation and fitness programs to develop endurance, strength, coordination and flexibility, can also help prevent injury. It is also important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of training rather than jumping into the "deep end".
Thornleigh Performance Physiotherapy can not only help you recover from any injuries that may occur on the soccer field, but also take a vital role in helping you prevent injury. We can assess your technique, biomechanics and strength, and on finding any deficits or abnormalities, we can help you correct them leading to improved performance and reduced risk of injury. As with muscular strains, most injuries occur on eccentric loading of the muscle, that is when the muscle is lengthening. Eccentric muscular strengthening is vital in not only preventing injury but also in regaining full function of a previously injured muscle (Petersen et al. 2011).