Common Football Injuries and How to Treat Them

As football combines speed, agility, power and strength, therefore requiring fast movements and changes in direction in addition to avoiding contact with other players in a fast-paced environment, and because of this, the risk of injury is fairly high.

Below, Achieve Physiotherapy are listing some of the most common football injuries and how they can be treated.

Sprained ankle

This injury occurs when there is soft tissue damage to the ligaments in the ankle joint. The majority of ankle sprains are ‘inversion’ sprains.

An inversion sprain is when the ankle is rolled outward, and the sole of the foot faces in and up. This may happen during a tackle, by running on uneven ground, or from landing awkwardly.

Hamstring strain

The hamstrings are a group of four muscles at the back of the thigh. These muscles bend the knee, and if they are overstretched, the muscle fibre could tear leading to a strain.

Treating a hamstring strain can be done through an immediate treatment involving the ‘PRICE’ protocol (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation). This is to reduce the swelling and bleeding from the injury site and can also help with the pain and last for roughly 3 days.

After the ‘PRICE’ protocol, the next step is the rehabilitation period which includes gentle stretching, soft tisuue work and muscle strengthening. When the strain has fully healed, the player can then start football specific drills such as a running, jumping and sprinting.

Dislocated shoulder

A dislocated shoulder will occur when a player’s arm is forced or pulled from its joint in the shoulder, often due to a fall or collision with another player.

Treating the shoulder can be done surgically, depending on the severity of the dislocation. Intensive physiotherapy treatment would follow the surgical correction, focusing on the shoulder’s flexibility, muscle strengthening and the patient’s confidence.

Calf strain

The calf is made up of two key muscles whih allow players to push off and run. When the calf is stretched beyond its limits, it can be torn or strained.

Similar to hamstring strain, the immediate treatment for this injury involes the ‘PRICE’ protocol, and again, the rehabilitation period will include gentle stretching, soft tissue work and strengthening the muscle.

Broken metatarsal

This is a bone in the foot which can be broken through simple overuse, contact or excessivve rotational force,

Upon encountering this injury, players are encouraged to take the weight off the foot bu wearing an aircast boot. Once the medical team are happy that the bone has healed sufficiently, the player will gradually return to play.

Physiotherapy for this particular injury will involve maintaining fitness, muscle strengthening/lengthening, balance and co-ordination.

The recovery time for these injuries will vary on its severity – please contact Achieve Physiotherapy, physiotherapists in Birmingham,  for further information about sports injuries and how we can help.