Now the new football season has well and truly kicked off it’s the time of year where we start to see people suffering from a variety of different injuries. Football, like any contact sport, can end up bringing a lot of casualties to our clinics, most of whom are desperate to get back out on to the pitch as soon as possible.
Whilst we can provide treatment and advice for dealing with any type of injury, these are the five that we see quite often as a result of football.
1 – Dislocated shoulder
This happens most often as a result of a collision with another player. At the point of impact the patient’s arm is pulled, or forced out of its joint, thus dislocating. In some instances it is easy to simply “pop” back in place; however, in others you may have to attend A&E, or even require surgical stabilisation. This essentially fixes the initial problem, but there are on-going concerns that need to be taken in to account. Once you have dislocated a joint there is an increased chance that it could happen again. As a result it’s important to start work on strengthening the area to reduce that risk. Recovery can take anywhere between 2 and 6 months, depending on the type and severity of the dislocation.
2 – Groin strain
A groin strain occurs when the abductor muscles on the inside of the thigh are over stretched (often during a tackle) and the muscle tissue tears as a result. It can be exceptionally painful depending on the severity, which is measured in three different grades based on the percentage of muscle fibre damaged. Immediate treatment should be offered which focuses on protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. The purpose of this approach is to reduce the bleeding and swelling surrounding the injury, and will help reduce pain. They say time is a great healer, and this is the case with a groin strain (usually between 3 and 6 weeks), but it is essential to start a physiotherapy regime as soon as practical. This will include gentle stretching and muscle strengthening. It is important to speak to a qualified physiotherapist who can provide a full routine for recovery, which will go a large way to reducing the chance of a repeat injury in the future.
3 – Hamstring strain
It doesn’t matter if you don’t follow football; the chance is you’ve heard of this type of injury. Your hamstrings are a group of four muscles at the back of the thigh that are used to bend the knee. As with a groin strain, when the muscles are overstretched (often as a result of sprinting) they can tear, which leads to the injury. The recovery process and time is much the same as with a groin strain, and again it’s important to keep follow-up appointments with your physiotherapist to reduce the chance of further injuries.
4 – Anterior cruciate ligament
Most commonly referred to as an ACL injury, the cruciate are the supporting ligaments in the knee joint that enable twisting and turning movements. During a tough tackle, or if the knee is twisted during an awkward fall, the cruciate can tear or rupture completely. Unlike other injuries the rehabilitation for an ACL can be slow and intensive. The initial repair is done via a graft, and it is essential that this is not caused to fail as a result of early stressors. Initial treatment can involve hydrotherapy, muscle stimulation, acupuncture and exercises and stretches based on increasing flexibility. It is vital that recovery is monitored closely by a professional so as to avoid excessive strains being placed on the knee, and resulting in further injury or delayed recovery.
If you want to find out more about the services we offer for these injuries, or any other injury please get in touch on 01254 677341.