Managing Common Knee Injuries Ahead Of The Champions League Last 16
This week will see the second round of the last sixteen of the Champions League, with a number of crunch matches taking place and an exciting spectacle of football for the neutral. The biggest game of the tie from an English perspective has to be Manchester City taking on Barcelona, an opportunity for one of the wealthiest clubs in the world to book their place in history by knocking out one of the most successful.
This week will see the second round of the last sixteen of the Champions League, with a number of crunch matches taking place and an exciting spectacle of football for the neutral. The biggest game of the tie from an English perspective has to be Manchester City taking on Barcelona, an opportunity for one of the wealthiest clubs in the world to book their place in history by knocking out one of the most successful and proving once and for all that money can buy you success.
City will almost be at full strength with just James Milner out of action following a knee injury and not expected to be back until early March, though he will be available for the return leg in Spain on 18th March.
Common knee injuries in football
The knee is a pivotal joint in the body, responsible for our mobility yet taking the strain of our entire body weight and in a fast paced and physical sport such as football the likelihood of injury is increased. In the Premier League there are currently 27 players out of action following knee injuries covering a multitude of conditions.
The majority of knee injuries sustained are self-limiting in that following a period of rest you should expect to fully recover, though should there be no signs of improvement after a few days then you should speak with a clinician for an assessment as the damage may be worse than first anticipated.
A compressive knee support can be used following minor injuries to help alleviate inflammation which can also decrease pain levels and ultimately keep you moving for longer since controlled weight bearing can be beneficial as part of your recovery.
ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) complaints are particularly common football injuries with 6 players currently out of action as a result. Any major damage to the ligaments within the knee can lead to a lengthy spell on the sidelines and even end a career. Bolton player Stuart Holden has suffered a number of ACL injuries in recent years and spent more time in the treatment room than on the pitch and his long term future in the game is questionable.
There are specific ACL knee support products on the market, designed to offer stability following ligament damage. Invariably the type you choose depends on your sport, with extreme sports typically selecting a rigid knee support to protect against impact and soft supports chosen in football since rigid designs are not permitted by the FA.
Which brace should I choose?
There are different types of braces for knee injuries and which one you choose is dependant on the type of injury and its severity, which is why diagnosis is essential. You would never wear an ACL knee support to help manage tendonitis as whilst it may offer you some benefits it is not designed to manage your specific condition and therefore will not work as effectively as a brace which specialises in the management of tendonitis.
The easiest way to describe braces for knee injuries is this; if you want to clean your bathroom you buy bathroom cleaner and whilst kitchen cleaner will do the job you would get a better result with the product designed to do the job. When you are potentially spending a lot of money on a knee support then you need to be sure that you buy the one you need.
Before making a purchase you should acquire a professional diagnosis either from your doctor, a physiotherapist or a clinician. They may also be able to offer advice on a range of products which may be suitable and point you in the right direction as to where to get them as the majority are not available on the NHS.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Regis discusses the types of braces for knee injuries available on the market and how the use of a knee support can aid in your rehabilitation in both sport and in everyday life.