Most football injuries affect the lower extremities, which are defined as the groin and pelvis, hip and thigh, knee, calf, foot and ankle. Research shows that most football injuries are caused by trauma, such as a collision with an opponent or landing awkwardly from a jump.
When reviewing the published literature on football injuries, the overall incidence of injury in football is between 9 and 35 injuries per 1000 hours of football in adults, and between 0.5 and 13 injuries per 1000 hours of football in adolescents.
TOP 5 FOOTBALL INJURIES :
- Hamstring Strain
- Sprained Ankle
- Knee Cartilage Tear
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
- Hamstring Strain: During sprinting activities in football the Hamstring muscles can be forcibly stretched beyond their limits and the muscle tissue can be torn. A tear in a muscle is referred to as a strain.
- Sprained Ankle or Twisted Ankle: A sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries in football. It refers to soft tissue damage (mainly ligaments) around the ankle, usually caused when the ankle is twisted inwards
- Knee Cartilage Tear: A torn cartilage occurs fairly frequently in football. As the knee joint bends the thigh bone usually rolls, spins and glides on the top surface of the shin bone. However, if there is rotation caused by a twist whilst the joint is bearing weight, the menisci can get jammed and nipped in between the two bones. If the force is sufficient, a tear of the meniscus will occur.
- Hernia: Hernia and groin problems are common in sports, particularly in football where the pelvic region is subject to large stresses during kicking, sprinting and turning. Following sporting activity the person with a sports hernia will be stiff and sore in the groin region. The day after a football match, getting out of bed or a car will be difficult.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL): The ACL can be injured in several different ways during football, most notably by landing from a jump onto a bent knee then twisting, or landing on a knee that is over-extended. Direct contact on the knee from opponents can also cause damage to the ACL.
Sports injuries are injuries that occur in athletic activities. In many cases, these types of injuries are often due to overuse or acute trauma of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity
Sports injuries can be broadly classified:
- Traumatic : Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports such as soccer, rugby league, and American football because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports.
- Overuse : An overuse injury results from wear and tear on the body, particularly on joints subjected to repeated activity. It can occur in contact and non-contact sports such as cricket, tennis, golf and soccer.
- Probably the most common sports injury is a muscle pull, which can happen to almost any muscle in the body.
- You may pull a muscle from overuse, fatigue or taking a fall.
- A muscle pulls when a sudden, severe force is applied to the muscle
- And when the fibers are stretched beyond their capacity.
NECK PAIN :
- A pulled muscle or a muscle spasm in the neck can happen when a tennis player looks up to serve or hit an overhead smash.
- The pain is on one side of the neck, and the neck may be pulled over slightly to that side.
- It is particularly painful to turn the head in the direction of the pain.
Shoulder impingement can happen as a result of overuse often associated with sports such as softball, tennis, volleyball, swimming and weight training.
- Overstretching of rotator cuff muscles.
- If the head of the shoulder is loose, when the arm is extended backwards over the shoulder the head will slide forward.
- If the arm is raised to the side above parallel to the ground.
- Tennis players feel the pain when they try to hit an overhead or serve.
- During back swing and the follow-through phase in golfers when their shoulders are above parallel to the ground.
LOWER BACK STRAIN:
Almost everyone who participates in sports experiences lower back strain at one time or another, usually from twisting awkwardly, lifting a heavy weight or doing some unpracticed activity.
- Virtually all lower back injuries are due to weak or tense muscles or muscle strain.
- Suddenly overloading muscles may pull or tear muscle fibers, sending the back muscles into spasm and causing pain.
- Weightlifters, golfers, martial artists and tennis players are prone to back injuries because these sports involve unilateral motions.
- A golfer rotates the lumbar spine in only one direction, which is the equivalent of lifting weights with only one side of body.
Tennis elbow is really an inflammation of the muscles of the forearm and the tendon that connects the muscles to the bones in the elbow.
- These muscles bend the wrist backward and cause the wrist to turn the palm face up.
- When the muscles and tendon become inflamed from overuse, the pain is felt on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
- Golfers also suffer from tennis elbow, but on the non-dominant side, that is, a right-handed golfer will feel the pain in the left elbow.
- Pulling the club through the swing with the left wrist causes irritation in the left elbow.
The most common cause of knee pain is runner’s knee, known medically as chondromalacia patella. This is due to misalignment of the kneecap in its groove. The kneecap normally goes up or down in the groove as the knee flexes or straightens out.
- If the kneecap is misaligned, the kneecap pulls off to one side and rubs on the side of the groove.
- This causes both the cartilage on the side of the groove and the cartilage on the back of the kneecap to wear out.
- On occasion, fluid will build up and cause swelling in the knee.
- Runners are not the only ones who develop runner’s knee.
- Pain can develop around the back of the kneecap or in the back of the knee after participating in any running sport.
The most common ankle sprain happens when the foot rolls to the outside and sprains the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
The outside of the ankle swells up and throbs, and may turn black and blue around the injury.
- When a tennis player lunges out over a poorly planted foot, partially tearing the fibers of the ligament that is considered a moderate sprain.
- When a basketball player jumps and lands on another player’s foot, twisting and forcing the ankle violently to the court, most or all of the fibers tear, and this is a severe sprain.
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon, usually due to overuse, such as frequent jumping in basketball or volleyball.
- The most common cause is excessive pronation of the ankle and foot, which causes the Achilles tendon to pull off center.
The elastic covering on the sole of the foot–the plantar fascia–runs the length of the foot and holds up the arch. When this shock-absorbing pad becomes inflamed, this is called plantar fasciitis, causing a dull ache along the length of the arch.
- The ache is due to over-stretching or partially tearing the arch pad. This happens most often to people with rigid, high arches.
- They feel the pain when they put weight on their foot or when pushing off for the next stride.
- Pain is particularly intense upon arising or after sitting for a long while.
- Runners are most susceptible, but almost any sport that keeps the athlete standing can lead to arch pain.
- Inappropriately fitting shoes or a weight gain of 10 to 20 pounds can also contribute to the condition.
GOAL OF PHYSIOTHERAPY :
Sports injuries can be treated and managed by using the P.R.I.C.E.S… DR. ABC and T.O.T.A.P.S regimes:
P – Protect
R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation
S – Stabilize
D – Danger
R – Response
A – Airway
B – Breathing
C – Circulation
T – Talk
O – Observe
T – Touch
A – Active movement
P – Passive movement
S – Skills test
- Pre on-field assessment is to be done.
- Off-field assessment is to be done.
- Check the player’s ability to perform.
- Precaution should be given while playing sports.
- Maintenance or restoration of normal range of motion in affected joints.
- Improves pain through advanced modalities/equipments.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Reduces spasm.
- Reduces tightness.
- Increases strength through resisted bands.
- Alignment correction through manual therapy.
- Taping technique
- Laser therapy for instant pain relief.
TIPS TO PREVENT INJURIES
- Warm-up:- Warm-ups should be practiced in all sports as they aim to increase the muscle temperature and range of motion. Performing a warm-up consisting of light aerobic work (e.g. jogging/cycling /skipping), active (or dynamic) Stretching (e.g. walking lunges/heel to bum/high knees) and skill drills can dramatically reduce the incidence of muscle strains especially.
- Fitness:-More injuries occur when an athlete becomes tired and fatigued. For this reason, conditioning should be a major aspect of any athletes training. This means being fit to play the sport. For example, football players require bouts of sprinting, followed by jogging, walking and sprinting again. Their training therefore should represent this and not involve pointless training such as continuous slow runs.
- Resistance training:-Resistance, or strength training can greatly benefit a players performance and also reduce the risk of injury. Football strength is mostly required in the legs, although the core and upper body should not be neglected as they play a role in centering the player and maintaining balance.
- Equipment:-Using the right equipment can be important in avoiding injuries. In terms of protective equipment, most outfield soccer players use only shin pads (shin guards). The Goalkeeper may wear a shirt with padded elbows and shorts with padded thighs to reduce abrasions occurring when diving. Goalkeepers also wear gloves, although these offer limited protection to the hands and fingers. They are worn with the main aim of improving grip on the ball.
Lastly in case of an injury book an appointment and get the best of medical advice.