A guide to avoiding injury in Football

These blogs will discuss what sort of injuries are common in Football (soccer) and what we know about how to prevent them.

The start of a Football season brings so much anticipation and excitement. Dreaming of scoring the first goal of the year, or reminiscing about last year’s goal-line save is one of the reasons us die-hards keep coming back for more!

As Australians, we love that excitement that draws us to sport and Football is no different. How amazing has the ride been as we follow our Matildas through the Asian Cup, the World Cup and soon the Olympic games.

And, just like the Olympic games, football transcends the problems of the world, making us forget for a moment, and unites a vast variety of cultures, nationalities and humans with one interest – the world game. Did you know that more than 270 million play football across the world?

Unfortunately, as with every sport, it does not come without the risks of injuries.

One fabulous piece of news is that because of the almost 300million participants, we are able to extract some common features of these injuries and make some decisions about what to do about them!

Let us list the common injuries below:

  • Muscle injuries
    • Hamstring
    • Calf
    • Quadriceps
  • Ankle ligaments
    • Often 4-8 weeks for returning to the game, but highly common injury.
  • Knee ligaments
    • ACL injuries are less common, but have the biggest impact!
  • Groin pain

Muscle injuries

These come about for a number of reasons in Football. The game is composed of high repetitions of acceleration and then deceleration, a lot of sprinting and a lot of stopping, as well as lunging, kicking and the odd collision or two.

Ligament injuries

Although ACL injuries are thought to be quite common (and they are more common in football than many other sports), they still only occur approximately once every second season for a full squad. On the flip side, ankle injuries occur at a rate of one every 4-5 weeks in a full squad. The difference is the ‘severity’ of injury. Ankle injuries are less severe, often requiring about 6 weeks of recovery, whereas the ACL injury requires 12 or more months in many cases and sometimes leads to that athlete not returning to sport.

Groin pain

Groin pain is something that many players report but often don’t do anything about it until it becomes unbearable to run or kick. Statistics suggest approximately one in five players will experience groin pain that limits their ability to train or play in every season – that can be a big impact on a team.

Why does it matter what the impact of injury is?

Because if you can’t train or play, then you are missing an opportunity to develop/ progress/ improve!

Did you also know that when teams have an ‘availability rate’ that is more than 80% throughout a season they are more likely to succeed at their collective goals? This means that more than 80% of the squad is available at any single training session or game. That makes sense!

Amazingly, almost 50% of injuries can be avoided. 

Our next blog will dive into how this can be achieved and a little bit of the science that supports this information.

For an early hint; your physical fitness is far and away the most important factor which helps prevent injuries. 

For a more detailed look at the numbers, check out this fact sheet online.

If you’re suffering from an injury that you sustained in football, get in touch! We can help in the clinic, but if you can’t get to us, give us a call and let us help from afar.

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