Physiotherapy for Footballers
Football has always been a very popular sport in terms of support and participation amongst men, women and children alike. Due to this there are no shortages of injuries sustained through contact and non-contact events during training and match play. Football can be a large part of people’s lives, and here at Metro, we understand that a safe and speedy recovery is always a priority to ensure individuals can continue enjoying the sport they have a passion for. We provide the highest level of service by having a substantial amount of experience in the assessment and treatment of football related injuries. Our therapists have helped and treated many amateur and professional footballers from clubs across the north west, to ensure they are on top of their game when returning from injury.
Common Footballing injuries
There are a multitude of injuries that can be sustained whilst playing football. Not surprisingly, lower limb injuries are more prevalent, but varying age groups and player positions pose differing risk levels to certain injuries.
Lower limb muscle strains, anterior knee pain and ankle sprains are common amongst the footballing population and more often than not, can be managed well with good quality physiotherapy. More severe injuries such as Meniscal tears, Cruciate ligament tears and fractures often require attention from a specialist consultant if the injury is unable to be managed conservatively. If you are unfortunate enough to sustain on of these more serious injuries, physiotherapy after a procedure can be essential to ensure a full and comprehensive recovery.
As previously mentioned, a player’s position can increase the risk of sustaining certain types of injuries. Upper limb injuries occur, but are less common in outfield players when compared with goalkeepers for instance. Acromioclavicular joint injuries, shoulder dislocations, ligament and tendon injuries to the elbow, wrist and hand can also occur within the footballing population.
Younger athletes face the risk of conditions related to stresses placed on their skeletal system. Osgood Schlatter’s, Sinding Larsen Syndrome and Severs Disease are all conditions that are brought on by increased stresses on an immature skeleton. Physiotherapy and careful monitoring and management of activity levels can help with easing painful symptoms.
Reducing the risk of Football related injuries
In order to reduce the risk of a football related injury, it is vital that your training programme consists of mobility, stretching, strengthening, sport specific movement patterns and proprioception.
Tight muscles can cause imbalances and restrictions that can increase the risk of injury, so it is important that joints are kept mobile and elastic structures are appropriately stretched. Strengthening muscles not only improves the muscle’s capabilities, but adds support to the structures they surround to decrease the risk of failure. It is key to include the correct mixture of stretching and strengthening to ensure there is a balance between stability and mobility.
Proprioception is the brain’s awareness of joint and limb position. It is important that this is continually trained, especially to reduce the risk of ankle sprains. It is also fundamental, that after a traumatic injury, proprioception is trained to reprogram the neural pathways that may have been altered by any change in the joint position. At Metro Physio, your therapist will have a plethora of sport specific exercises to prescribe, ensuring a smooth transition back to sport.
Treatments following a Football related injury
Most of our therapists are directly involved in sport, so understand the demands that are required. Varying treatment techniques are employed to aid in the rehabilitation of a sporting injury. Your therapist will assess and observe your biomechanics to identify any underlying dysfunction that could have caused the injury or lead to a repeat injury. Following this, a plan will be formulated to overcome any issues that are deecteds.
Treatment sessions will be tailored towards the individual and the injury, but will typically consist of some of the following techniques; deep tissue massage, deep frictional massage, trigger point release, joint mobilisations, fascial release, Ultrasound Therapy, acupuncture, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, taping/strapping and a specific tailored exercise programme.
Football Physiotherapy – Our Experts
James Sweeney is our football related injury expert and has experience working with elite, championship level footballers. As a keen footballer himself, he is fully aware of the issues that can arise from training and match play. James puts this knowledge to use whilst also working alongside Bolton Wanderers FC Academy. In addition to his role in the injury clinic at Bolton Wanderers FC, James provides pitch side cover for the players. In doing so, James regularly deals with acute injuries has undertaken an Immediate Care in Sport course to supplement this. He keeps up to date with current treatment techniques by regularly researching and attending CPD courses held at the club.
Ben Farrelly is also another expert in treating football related injuries. As well as being an avid football supporter, Ben has played amateur football in the Manchester/Salford area for the past 10 years. He has football coaching qualifications through the FA and has coached at local junior level. Furthermore, as a student Ben worked in New York for 2 summers coaching football on an elite sports camp. Ben has been involved in our busy in service training program and has attended external courses/seminars/talks on football related injuries and has a clinical interest in sports taping. Whilst on clinical placement in Hong Kong, Ben was fortunate to work with the Hong Kong National U23 team providing on field service and clinical based rehabilitation. Additionally, through Metro Physio’s partnership with the FA Ben has been actively involved in the treatment of many Amateur local football players and coaches in the area.