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Common Football Injuries and When to Seek Help

Posted on 11th August 2018 by

Football season is just round the corner. We tend to get peaks in injury rates – the first one at the start of the season, when players have returned to football after a bit of a break, slightly de-conditioned (maybe!) with less fitness and flexibility. We get another peak towards the end of the season, when training and matches have taken their toll.

Here are some of the most common injuries we see in footballers.

Hamstring Strains

Strains refer to tears within the muscle. These can occur at different locations and to different degrees of severity which are graded from 1-3. A grade 1 tear refers to mild damage to soft tissues (<5% of fibres) with minimal loss of function, often referred to as a ‘pulled muscle’. Grade 2 tears occur when more extensive damage is present, but the muscle isn’t completely ruptured. Grade 3 tears refer to a torn or ruptured muscle. Once fatigued, the hamstring muscles become very susceptible to injury. In order to prevent hamstring injuries it is vital to carry out an effective warm up prior to training and matches. You can read more about warming up effectively here. If you sustain a hamstring injury it is important to control the swelling by compressing and elevating the injured area. Apply ice for pain-relief if necessary. Any type of injury to the hamstrings should be reviewed by a professional to determine any the root cause and prevent recurrence. 

Sprained Ankle

Sprains occur commonly when the ankle is rolled inwards, causing damage to the ligaments and the joint capsule on the outside of the ankle. Bleeding within the joint causes swelling to occur, which again should be managed with compression and elevation. Weight-bearing activities should commence as soon as they are tolerated. Medical advice should be obtained regarding an appropriate rehabilitation protocol for the injured ankle. Disruptions in balance and proprioception are to be expected following this type of injury and without rehabilitation recurrent sprains can occur. Strength, balance, coordination and stability must all be addressed before returning to sport. 

Knee Cartilage Tear

Torn cartilage (menisci) are common complaints in football. This injury often occurs when the knee is forced to rotate and bend while the foot is planted on the floor. This can happen if a player turns too quickly or is impacted from the side of the knee. This mechanism of injury can also cause damage to other structures surrounding the knee, therefore it is imperative that you seek examination by a trained professional following a suspected injury to the meniscus. These conditions can be treated conservatively however surgical intervention may be recommended depending on the severity or location of the tear. Immediate after care should consist of compression, elevation and rest. Apply ice for pain-relief if necessary. If surgery is not required, an appropriate strength and conditioning protocol should be followed to facilitate a safe return to sport with the least chance of recurrence. 

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Injury to this ligament deep within the knee joint can occur when a player decelerates or changes direction rapidly. Like meniscus injuries the ACL can also be damaged by forceful rotation of the knee whilst the foot is planted on the floor. Immediate after care should consist of protection (knee brace), compression and elevation while resting. A medical examination is crucial to determine the severity of the injury. Surgical reconstruction may be indicated. In either case conservative management is often the preferred option to rehabilitate the injured player back to full health or to prepare the injured limb for surgical intervention. This ‘pre-hab’ facilitates recovery rates and allows a quicker return to sport with less chance of recurrence. 


Hernias can occur when the pelvic region undergoes large stresses in the form of sprinting, changing direction or kicking forcefully. The most common in footballers are inguinal hernias or a sports hernia (Gilmore’s groin). It is important to note that in the case of a sports hernia protrusion of abdominal soft tissues is not present, but injury to the inguinal canal and/or adductor muscles will occur. These conditions commonly go unnoticed until symptoms progress. The player may experience soreness in the groin area with activities such as sitting up or getting in/out of a car. Any movement that increases intra-abdominal pressure may cause pain, such as coughing or sneezing. A rehabilitation protocol targeting the pelvic region should be initiated to strengthen the injured area. If you experience gradual worsening of the symptoms described above, seek examination by a trained professional.

Read More 

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Female footballers and ACL Injuries

Reach New Heights This Summer With Young Rehab

Posted on 27th July 2018 by

The extra free time over the summer holidays creates a perfect window of time to get you child Young Rehab Summer goPhysiostarted in our Young Rehabilitation sessions in our Strong Room at goPhysio.

These sessions are a great way to get the kids away from screens and to develop their strength and durability to take them into next their next season of sport.  This can help to reduce the risk of future injuries as well as recovery from existing injuries and niggles.  As well as this, it can generally increase their confidence in movement and teach them another form of exercise that they continue with.

The young rehab classes start with a 45 mins session with one of our Sports and Rehab Therapists where participants are set a bespoke programme tailored to their specific goals and sport.  The remaining 4 sessions are run in groups of up to 3 people under direct supervision.

Sessions are booked as blocks of 5 sessions lasting 45 minutes which includes the initial 1-2-1 session.  Each block costs £150. These could be taken as one per week taking them up to the end of the summer holidays or could also be taken more regularly to gain some momentum and maximise what they get from the sessions.

We understand that you may be going away at some point over Summer and that other plans will come up.  For that reason we are flexible and classes can be booked in at various times each week or moved forward to another week to work around your plans.* Sessions can be booked throughout the week, including Saturday mornings and right up until 8pm during the week.

Who might benefit from Young Rehab?

Kids and teens often go through some big changes between the ages of 10 – 14 as they experience a high rate of growth. Combined with lot’s of sports and physical activities, the growing body can sometimes struggle and pain and injury rears it’s head. This can be highly frustrating, as G.P.s will often advise these youngsters to just rest – but try telling that to a competitive teenager who loves sport! Young Rehab provides a great way to support these kids in staying active and getting back to their sport as quick as possible.

We’ve had many kids experience the benefit of of Young Rehab here at goPhysio.

We’ve seen a large number of young gymnasts and dancers. These athletes often have wonderful flexibility but can lack stability, strength and movement control in key areas. This in turn can lead to some common injuries such as knee pain.

Kids who participate in sports with lots of repeated movements also frequently seek our help. Kicking a football, swimming and tennis are great examples. These youngsters are often training or competing many times a week and sometimes their growing bodies just can’t cope.

It’s not only for the very sporty kids – growing children by the very nature of growing can experience aches and pains that can be effectively managed by learning some key exercises.

If you are interested in booking your child in, or you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact the clinic on 023 8025 3317.  We can get started immediately!

*A 24 hour cancellation policy applies. All sessions must be used within 3 months of the 1st appointment.

Read More 

Young Rehab – All you need to know

Growing Pains – Knee pain in kids and teens

Sever’s Disease

Why youngsters should play multiple sports



Why youngsters should play multiple sports

Posted on 9th May 2018 by

With the end of season finally upon us for many of our most popular kids sports, we’re seeing a huge spike in the number of youngsters we’re seeing in the clinic with injuries. Unfortunately, many of the most common growth related injuries (Severs, Osgoods Schlatters, Sinding Larson etc.) affect the most active and sporty children at a time they are experiencing growth spurts. Although there is a part of this that we can’t control (growth!), what we are seeing increasingly contribute to the injuries these kids are presenting with is very frequent, intense participation in single sports. We also see this across a huge spectrum of sports, so football, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, dance & more!

Our sporting culture here in the UK (and many other countries too) is to ‘pigeon hole’ children into a single sport from a very early age. Before they know it, children are training / playing / competing / performing in a single sport 5 – 7 days a week! Unfortunately, much of this early specialisation in single sports is driven by the coaches and/or teams. Parents and children fear that if they don’t specialise and fully commit to a single sport they are risking their chance and future success.

The intentions of most parents, coaches and teams is well meaning – the more they train or practice for the sport, surely the better they’ll get and the higher the chances of ‘success’ (defining what success is is a whole other topic that won’t be covered here!).

However, all the evidence points towards the opposite being true – there are many benefits to playing multiple sports and risks to early specialisation in a single sport. The title image of this blog was recently published in the Sports Business Journal, why kids shouldn’t specialise in one sport is discussed here.

The benefits of playing multiple sports

  • Improved sporting performance – studies suggest playing multiple sports at a young age will actually enhance sporting performance in the long run
  • Between the crucial development ages of 6 – 12, playing multiple sports will enhance development of fundamental movement skills
  • Increased athleticism, strength and conditioning – playing a single sport can improve skill for that particular sport, but can limit overall athletic ability
  • Increase chance of developing a lifelong love of playing sport / exercising – if enjoyment, fun and variety are the focus, children are less likely to burnout
  • Develops a more creative athlete by exposure to many skills, situations and environments

The risks to early specialisation in sport

  • Injuries – repeated movement and demands placed upon developing bodies can increase risk of injury. The more movement variety youngsters have, the less risk they have go picking up an injury.
  • Burnout (see the great infographic below on how to prevent this).
  • Social isolation – commitment in hours to training, travel and competing can have an impact on a youngsters social life.
  • Early over-professionalisation – sport is seen in an adult, commercial context with winning being the main focus.

Burnout in young athletes

The crux of it is, for the majority of youngsters, taking part in sport is a way for children to develop well physically, have fun, enjoy activity with friends and importantly install lifelong love of being physically active to help them live a healthy life!

Unfortunately for many sports, naivety from the top won’t change things, it’s very shortsighted and their well-meaning intentions don’t actually have the health and wellbeing of children as a priority. However, sports such as Hockey, do give a glimmer of hope. Their Player Pathway is an excellent example of a great framework for specialisation.

  • They don’t identify ‘talent’ until players reach 12/13
  • Their over riding aim is to “provide fun, enjoyable, learning for every player”
  • They develop close links with local clubs and schools
  • They provide an extra 6-10 hours training a season for ‘talented’ players which then leads to a very structured pathway of progression
  • Children can continue playing for their local and/or school team

So, what’s the takeaways from this:

  • Evidence suggests that children should take part in multiple sports and avoid specialisation until they reach adolescence (around 13, The American Association of Paediatrics says 15)
  • Offer lot’s of opportunities to they different sports and activities whenever you can
  • The focus should be on fun and enjoyment
  • If they do get an injury, seek professional advice. That may need specific guidance on an exercise programme, training programme and activity modification to help them

You can read another great article on the subject here.

benefits of playing multiple sports for children