Footy is a rough sport and injuries are a common part of the game, this can be in part due to the players’ size, speed and the physical nature of the game. Common causes of football injuries come from tackling, collisions with other players and being hit by the ball. This doesn’t mean these common injuries can’t be prevented.
Some of the most common types of football injuries include sprains and strains, fractures, ACL tears and concussions. Many common sports injuries can be effectively treated, and your recovery can be faster with therapy, but it is still best to try to prevent any injuries to begin with.
Our top tips for preventing common footy injuries include:
Staying active during the off-season
Keep an active schedule and train before the season so your body is ready to compete. Don’t put too much strain on your body after a coming off a break and make sure you ease your way into training.
Warming up prior to training and games
Do a complete warm-up, going for a jog and doing your stretches before playing or training. As part of your preparation, make sure you also eat a balanced and nutritious meal and stay hydrated before, during and after the game or training session.
Play in a safe environment
Before all games check the field to remove or cover any hazardous objects, including but not limited to broken glass or sprinkler heads. Also, make sure fences are a minimum of three metres from the boundary line. Other areas to check are the goalposts – make sure they’re padded with high-density foam and that the padding is regularly replaced after being worn out or damaged.
In addition to playing in a safe environment, also make sure there is always a qualified first aid personnel available and telephone access to contact emergency services.
Wear full safety gear
This includes wearing custom-fitted mouthguards and if a player has a history of head, ankle or thigh injuries, it’s best to wear helmets, ankle braces and thigh protectors. Most importantly have the appropriate footwear and invest in a good pair.
Never “Play through the pain”
If you experience serious pain, continuing with activities could worsen the condition and create long-term consequences. Call out to your coach or trainer and seek medical attention. After a sports injury, follow your medical advice and make sure your injuries have fully recovered and that you have had the recommended amount of rest before playing again. Players with a sports injury in the last 12 months have a higher risk of incurring the same injury if it’s not fully healed.
Consult your Physio
Visiting your physiotherapist can help with a faster recovery from common footy injuries and provide more injury-specific prevention advice if you’ve had a previous injury. At Fairfield Physio, we use a wide range of treatments and options to speed up recovery and make sure injuries do not worsen.