Injury Update From The Football League
The table is beginning to take shape, with Leicester leading the way in the Championship and the top three creating space between themselves and the rest of the play-off contenders. At the bottom of the table both Barnsley and Yeovil remain rooted to the bottom four points away from safety though only five points separate seventeenth and twenty-second place in the table.
It is Leicester who are reigning supreme currently at the top of the Championship table but the top three is still a close run race, though they are starting to pull ahead of the remaining teams who are currently battling it out for the play-off positions.
At the bottom of the table both Barnsley and Yeovil remain rooted to the bottom four points away from safety though only five points separate seventeenth and twenty-second place in the table which makes for an exciting relegation battle in the latter half of the season.
As we draw closer to the end of the season teams from the top and bottom will become more defined and results will become even more important. With each point worth its weight in gold it is more important than ever to have a full strength team on the pitch, with club doctors and physiotherapists working overtime to keep the squad fit.
Some football injuries are more common than others and the Championship is no different, with overuse being a major factor.
Common ankle injuries
The majority of sports injuries sustained are as a result of overuse, where fatigue plays a major role in increasing the risk of injury.
The vast majority of ankle injuries are self-limiting with a sprained ankle being the most common. A sprained ankle can occur from simply slipping on a wet floor or rolling your ankle when walking down stairs.. This can be quite painful and prevent a player from continuing in the game, with the ankle sometimes becoming inflamed. As the condition is self-limiting rest is the best form of treatment, with ice being used to manage the inflammation. An ankle support can also be used to help offer additional support and stability to the joint when you are back on your feet again.
Whilst a sprained ankle results from damage to the ligaments, a more serious injury can result in a longer period of time on the sidelines. Ligaments are the tough bands of tissue connecting the bones within a joint and responsible for its overall stabilisation. Ankle ligament damage can affect a player's ability to walk or run and even result in surgery to repair the damaged ligaments.
Common knee injuries
Tendonitis results from overuse and can be quite painful and result in swelling of the knee joint. A player simply needs to rest and use ice to help manage the inflammation before being able to get back in training. Tendonitis is self-limiting and will get better in time following an appropriate amount of rest.
A knee injury which is more widely known given the recent injury to Theo Walcott is an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury. This affects the ligament at the front of the knee joint which is primarily responsible for the stabilisation of the knee, without which a player can find walking and especially running very difficult.
As far as knee injuries are concerned an ACL tear or rupture can result in a lengthy spell on the sidelines and even surgery to remedy it. Theo Walcott will now be out of action until after the World Cup following surgery, rest and intensive physiotherapy to rebuild strength in the joint. Other players to succumb to such an injury in the past include Michael Owen and more recently Van Ginkel of Chelsea.
Bracing to treat football injuries
The use of sports braces to treat football injuries has become more common in recent years, used as part of the overall treatment mix of rest, physiotherapy and surgery. There are different types of sports braces depending on the condition you wish to manage and the type of support you want to offer, either full immobilisation or merely a support to help during movement.
A rigid foot support is more commonly used following serious foot trauma, whether a broken bone or serious ligament damage and allows a person to remain mobile whilst still protecting their injury.. The support itself offers compression to the foot and ankle region to minimise unnatural movement whilst allowing a person to continue walking and was used by Wayne Rooney following his infamous metatarsal injury.
A rigid knee support may also be used as a preventative measure, with many extreme sportsmen wearing a rigid knee support to help protect against knee ligament damage. An ACL injury for professional motocross riders and snowboarders can end their career, therefore maximum protection of key joints essential..
A soft support is worn to aid a player during training to offer additional support without restricting their movement. They are designed to offer compression to help manage inflammation whilst allowing you to stay mobile for longer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Regis discusses the use of orthotics for the management of sports injuries, reviewing injury rehabilitation through exercise and the use of bracing and supports. He frequently blogs and writes articles focussing on football injuries and methods of rehabilitation.