Football injuries  – How Physio can improve your game

Football injuries  – How Physio can improve your game

As the premier league and the rest of the world’s top football divisions kick off towards the back end of summer, so do most grass roots and Sunday league football teams.

That’s why I want to talk about the importance of pre-season preparation and pre-season screening

Whether you play to a semi-professional level training 3 or 4 times per week, or just play on a Sunday morning (usually with a sore head), ensuring that your body is physically prepared for both the game and long season ahead is vital.

Top 3 reasons you should get a pre-season checkup before you hit the grass this year:

  1. Training load:
  • Over the course of the summer months following the end of the sporting calendar, there is usually a drop off in most people’s sports and exercise.
  • This is due to the lack of games combined with other aspects, such as summer holidays abroad and other more fun and engaging commitments than being stuck inside the gym working on your fitness.
  • So when pre-season rolls around 3 months later your body has gone through a significant period of de-loading and de-training.
  • Muscle strength and endurance may be reduced, your tendon’s ability to attenuate and re-distribute force is diminished and your cardiovascular capacity is dwindling.
  • You need to ensure that you possess the pre-requisite strength and ability to know your body can withstand the pressures that your sport requires.
  • So before you go to leap like a salmon for that header in the first match, just think, does my body have what it takes to perform this jump not only safely, but to the best of its ability?
  1. Knocks and Injuries:
  • Only a lucky few people to ever play sport have not suffered some form of injury setback at some point in their sporting life.
  • For those of you less fortunate reading this (like myself), you’ve likely been through the long and frustrating process of; Injured  healing  Return to play  Minor setback  repeat, over and over throughout the last few years.
  • While it is easy enough to self-treat and get yourself back to 80-90% recovered (enough to play). It is not enough to get you a sustained and more importantly successful period on the pitch.
  • The best way to achieve this is to see a professional, who can fully address the issue(s) at hand, properly diagnose the injury and provide a tailored rehabilitation plan that fits in with your work, social and sporting commitments.
  1. Screening:
  • In a professional environment, we screen our athletes prior to the commencement of each season. This is to ensure we keep on top of every niggle, every % loss in muscle strength, and every degree of loss of flexibility that a player may have. From here we then log and monitor this over the course of the year and focus on the areas that need improvement while letting the high-performing aspects continue as they are.
  • If we can do this with our top-level athletes, we can certainly transfer this over to an amateur athlete as well.
  • A physio can identify and manage any areas that might be a precursor for injury further down the line or help to strengthen areas of the game that you might be weak in (just think back to going for that header in the first game week 1).

Benefits of seeing a physio – improve your game

  • A good physiotherapist won’t just get you from a period of pain to no pain.
  • If they truly are a good physio they will get you from being injured to injury free, and achieving your highest ever level of sports performance.
  • They will act as your physio, S+C coach, massage therapist and performance coach all rolled into one.
  • Rehabilitation and sports performance should never be a guessing game or a cookie-cutter approach, so find yourself a good physio and performance coach and let them help you take your game to the next level this season.
  • If you can find a physio with a history of working in your specific sport then even better and it just so happens Ollie at Indergaard Physiotherapy, has this specialist knowledge as he also works for the Leeds United Academy, and is involved in developing and delivering world-class physiotherapy to the players, enabling them to return from injury as fast and safely as possible back to elite levels of performance.