Injuries in football can affect the whole team! These are the most common injuries and how to prevent them.
What injuries are common in Football?
Just to be clear, we mean Soccer when we write “Football.” But, a lot of this information is common across all Football codes!
Football is a sport that suffers a significant amount of lower limb injuries. The sport requires a lot of sprinting, change of direction, kicking and tackling.
Football injuries occur for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons we can not prevent, but where we can, we should!
Most importantly, once you have suffered an injury, you want to get back out there as soon as possible! We understand this and share your goal.
We will take it one step further and do all we can to ensure you prevent it happening again.
Hamstring muscle injuries are the most common muscle injuries in Football.
Occurring approximately 2-8 times in a usual amateur football season, these injuries can certainly be prevented.
Not only do these injuries affect a squads availability in a big way, they can also take a number of weeks to heal! In some cases only 3 weeks, but in rare cases the injury can involve the tendon and take up to 12 or more weeks to recover.
Hamstring injuries occur most often when someone is sprinting or accelerating.
The occur because of 'overload' to the muscle, which might be due to fatigue, weakness or other factors.
The good news is that you can prevent up to 50% of these injuries!
For more information, read our blog.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in Football. A mild ankle injury will often take only two weeks to return to the game, however more significant injuries can take up to six weeks. High ankle sprains may even take a whole lot longer.
Ankle injuries in Football occur when the foot turns inwards too quickly. This will sometimes happen during a tackle, changing direction or landing from a jump. The ligaments connecting the bones together around the outer side of the ankle can be damaged. Occasionally the bone and muscle or tendon can also be damaged.
It is vey important that the severity of these injuries are well assessed. A low ankle sprain, the most common, might seem simple enough, but it is the high ankle sprain that can be missed. These injuries often take longer to heal and lead to young athletes losing interest in the sport thinking they will never recover.
Read more about ankle injuries in our blogs:
Knee injuries occur in a Football squad at a lower rate than Ankle injuries. Significant Knee injuries will impact more than just one season! So, they're worth understanding and preventing.
In Football, major knee injuries occur as a result of a hard change of direction or an impact to the knee.
Unfortunately, women are more prone to major knee injuries in sports like Football.
Acute and severe knee injuries most often involve the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or Meniscus, but can also involve the ligaments on the side of the knee, the LCL (lateral collateral ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament).
A typical ACL injury occurs with a heavy landing or change of direction. There might be a sound, often some pain and athletes will often have an innate awareness that they have injured their knee significantly.
These injuries often will take a minimum of nine months (after surgery) before athletes can return to the field. Faster if you choose not to operate.
If these can be prevented, there would be a lot of happier coaches and athletes!
Read more about ACL injuries.
Groin pain is common complaint in Football. Typically referred to as Osteitis Pubis, this name is being phased out in preference for terms that describe the location or tissue that is involved more accurately.
There are a large number of factors that might contribute to groin pain:
- Change in surface
- Increased training
- Recent time off training
- Weakness of the hip muscles
- Weakness of the abdominals
- Deficit in control of movement.
In some instances, this injury can be managed without meaning you need to stop playing or training. There is, however, a large emphasis on rehabilitative exercise and controlling training volumes to improve the condition.
Read more about groin pain.
Why does injury matter?
Injury means that you might not be able to train or play games.
But why does this matter?
- Time away from games and training means less time to improve your skills and get fitter!
- This means you do not improve!
- It also affects the team. Squads with less injuries will always perform better.
An injury can have a large impact on both yourself as well as your team. Getting this assessed as soon as you are able and doing everything you can to return training and playing again will not only help you, but also your team mates!
What to do?
Find yourself a physio that you can trust.
Obtaining an accurate diagnosis and thorough management plan as early as you are able will help reduce the chance that you are doing yourself any harm and therefore slowing down your progress. This is the fastest way to get back on the pitch.
While you wait for your physio appointment, why not read some more in our blog?
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