Click & Book Online Now

Call us now: 023 8025 3317

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 

Warming up for sport

Recover from injuries faster with POLICE 

Female footballers and ACL Injuries

Easing Post Run Soreness

Posted on 18th March 2018 by

You’ve done it, you’ve got off the couch and finished that run! Whether it’s a gentle recreational run, a 10k or a full marathon, post run soreness can be part of the journey. It’s just your muscles adapting to the additional demands placed upon them, which is good!

You can read more about post exercise pain here.

There are some tried and tested steps you can take, that help to ease post run soreness. Here’s a few from our Sports Therapist, Tom.

  1. Rest

It may seem obvious but resting from physical exertion will allow sore muscles time to rebuild. However, there is a big difference between complete rest and active recovery. Complete rest can result in decreased range of motion and prolonged soreness. Active recovery is defined by a light workout comprising of lower intensity and volume which facilitates the removal of waste products and restores normal resting length of muscles. For example, a runner with sore legs may opt for 30 minutes on a static bike at a steady pace.

  1. Sports Massage

Muscle soreness following a run can be effectively eased with sports massage. The massage techniques used will decrease exercise-induced inflammation, improve blood flow and reduce muscle tightness. Sports massage can also have an effect on the nervous system by down-regulating it to allow the muscles to relax. Manual therapy techniques can stimulate the lymphatic system which helps drain swelling and by-products of exercise out of the damaged muscles. Increased blood flow to these areas will bring new nutrient-rich blood to facilitate the repair phase following intense exercise. You can book your sports massage online here.

  1. Self-Myofascial Release

Performed using tools such as foam rollers, trigger point balls, massage sticks, etc. Similar to massage, this technique allows you to self-treat by targeting the muscles that need it most. You will be able to ease inflammation, improve blood flow and restore the normal resting length of muscles. Read more about foam rolling here. If you want to learn more, why not come along to one of our monthly foam rolling practical workshops.

  1. Food & Hydration

You can utilise a few simple nutrition strategies to restore homeostasis and facilitate muscle repair. Eat high-glycemic fruits and starchy vegetables following exercise to replenish glycogen stores in muscles. Antioxidants present in these foods can also aid tissue repair and recovery. Eating foods high in protein (such as eggs) can enhance energy production and stimulate protein synthesis, which repairs damaged muscles from intense training. Fish oils (omega 3) also contain anti-inflammatory properties which will help ease post-race soreness.

A reduction in hydration of only 2 percent is enough to have detrimental effects on maximal strength and athletic performance due to a drop in blood plasma volume. This limits the amount of nutrients and energy received by the working muscles. Drink frequently throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and reduce the risk of delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

  1. Sleep

Make sure you get between 7-8hours of sleep each night. Sleep is important as it not only restores brain function and alertness, but it also regulates growth hormone release and protein synthesis. Your muscles do all their repair work whilst you sleep, so getting enough shut-eye is crucial when training. During the restorative phase of sleep your blood pressure drops, breathing slows and blood flows to the muscles and soft tissue that need repair.

  1. Compression

Specific garments can be worn during and after intense exercise to reduce the amount of residual inflammation in working tissues. We know that muscles are damaged when we exercise, this damage causes inflammation which can also irritate nerve endings and result in prolonged pain/soreness. The idea behind compression is to limit the space available for soft tissues to swell with inflammation, thus reducing pain levels. Compression with movement will also facilitate the removal of waste products and inflammation out of working/damaged tissues.

  1. Heat

It is well established that heat can be a great pain-reliever. Applying heat to sore muscles can encourage a relaxation effect. The warmth will also vasodilate blood vessels allowing for nutrient-rich blood to be brought to the area that needs repair.

  1. Stretching

You may be surprised to hear that stretching isn’t as effective at easing muscle soreness as you may have thought. Think about it this way; the most traumatic form of muscle contraction is an eccentric one. This occurs when you contract a muscle over a period of time whilst it is lengthening, for example the lowering phase of a bicep curl. This muscle has been damaged (on a microscopic level) by a lengthening-based exercise. You are then attempting to ease that soreness by stretching the muscle, which is only lengthening it further. Also noteworthy is the role of the central nervous system, which uses pain as a protective signalling mechanism to prevent the same movement from occurring again. Stretching a painful area is likely to produce a larger nervous system response resulting in increased pain levels.

A review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2011 concludes that stretching does not ease soreness following exercise.

Herbert RD, de Noronha M, Kamper SJ. Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD004577. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004577.pub3.

  1. Ice

A golden rule to follow when considering ice vs heat for different situations is this; ice for acute, traumatic injuries to be used predominantly for pain relief and not much else. Heat is to be used for chronic, dull, achy pain such as joint stiffness or muscle tightness.

When applying ice to an injured area it can cause blood vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow to the area. We need a good blood supply for muscles to regenerate and repair. Ice also causes muscles to tighten which seems to be the opposite effect when searching for muscles relaxation and relief of soreness. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 articles published in 2015 suggests that ice (cryotherapy) provides little or no significant effect in the treatment of exercise-induced muscle soreness.

Hohenauer E, Taeymans J, Baeyens J-P, Clarys P, Clijsen R (2015) The Effect of Post-Exercise Cryotherapy on Recovery Characteristics: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0139028.

If your soreness doesn’t ease after a few days or you are in pain as you think you may have picked up an injury, do get it checked out. The sooner you get an expert diagnosis of what’s going on and a specific recovery plan, the less time you’ll have off running!

17 Days To Go! goPhysio’s Daily Countdown Giveaway – Biofreeze Cooling Gel

Posted on 2nd December 2016 by

goPhysio moving dateOn day 2 of our giveaway, you could be in with a chance of winning some pain relieving, Biofreeze cooling gel.

Biofreeze is a topical analgesic that uses the cooling effect of menthol, a natural pain reliever, to soothe minor muscle and joint pain. It penetrates quickly, offering relief through cold therapy.

If you’re in pain, Biofreeze is a great way to ease this, helping your recovery.

To be in with a chance to win, like or follow us and don’t forget to share the post on social media. The winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow!