Unity caught up with
a well known registered Physiotherapist in the Cork soccer circles.
Tony has some tips on best practice with keeping fit, staying fit and preventing injury during training and before and after games.
First of all make sure you are in good physical condition at the start of soccer season.
Always take time to warm up and stretch, especially your hips, knees, thighs and calves.
Stretching at the end of training and games is too often neglected because of busy schedules.
Take plenty of fluids onboard while training and playing games. Hydration is key in lasting the duration of games especially.
Sprains and strains are the most common lower extremity injuries. The severity of these injuries varies.
Cartilage tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains in the knee are some of the more common injuries that may require surgery.
Other injuries include fractures and contusions from direct blows to the body.
Don’t let a knock or blow to the body or legs fester. Treat them straight away. Follow these simple steps and help your body to heal.
Rest and protect the injured or sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness.
Cold will reduce pain and swelling. Apply an ice or cold pack right away to prevent or minimize swelling. Apply the ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day. After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is gone, apply heat to the area that hurts. Do not apply ice or heat directly to the skin. Place a towel over the cold or heat pack before applying it to the skin.
Compression, or wrapping the injured or sore area with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap), will help decrease swelling. Don’t wrap it too tightly, because this can cause more swelling below the affected area. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area below the bandage. Talk to your doctor if you think you need to use a wrap for longer than 48 to 72 hours. A more serious problem may be present.
Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your heart to help minimize swelling.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also help relieve your pain and swelling.
Ibuprofen, such as Panadol ect.
Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
When your soreness and pain are gone, begin stretching and strengthening exercises slowly,
then gradually increase these exercises.
A visit to your clubs Physio may help with the injury or putting a recovery programme in place for a safe return to your sport.