Common Ankle Injuries in Football
Posted on 20th October 2021 at 15:26
Football is notorious for causing ankle injuries. In fact, football is one of the most common causes of injury that we see as massage therapists. Injuries caused whilst playing football can vary from mild to severe, and they occur at all levels from amateur football to professional.
Although a very much-loved game, football can put many stresses on the ankles such as twisting, rolling and turning, resulting in pulled ligaments, sprains, sore tendons and even breaks. The competitive nature of football often results in players going back to the pitch before they have fully recovered or avoiding medical interference altogether in the fear that they won’t be able to play again.
Today we’re going to discuss some of the most common injuries that we see as a result of football.
Lateral Ligament Injury
Lateral ligament injury commonly effects the outer portion of the ankle and is caused by the ankle rolling inwards, often a result of a sudden change of direction or as somebody misses judgment whilst walking down a step or on a bumpy, uneven surface. This kind of injury tends to be harder to fix if the foot is in a plantar-flexed position at the time of injury.
Once you’ve experienced lateral ligament injury, you’re at a higher risk of picking up further ankle injuries. We often see Lateral ligament injury get worse when coupled with inconsistent treatment or when people get overexcited and return to action too quickly.
Plantar Fasciitis is a runner or sportsperson’s nightmare. Commonly seen in football players, the condition is made worse with foot to floor impact, especially on artificial pitches. Players who have taken a break and gone straight back into high intensity activities tend to suffer with plantar fasciitis too, and should build back the level of intensity slowly through training and conditioning.
Footwear is very important for those with plantar fasciitis, and they need to think carefully when choosing appropriate shoes for any physical activity. Shoes need to be supportive at the heel and arch and ideally not completely flat. Footballers should choose the right football boots for the surface that they are playing on. Soft ground studs on a firm surface are inevitably going to lead to injury of some description or another.
Fractures in the ankles are occurring more often due to the nature of modern football boots being made with lighter materials to increase speed. The trauma caused by tackling, running and quickly turning and twisting the ankles can cause multiple fractures to the ankle and foot, resulting in several weeks of recovery time and in some cases even surgery. Once you’ve fractured or broken a bone it becomes weak and puts you at risk of repetitive injury.
If you’ve injured or fractured your ankle whilst playing football you may find sports massage a great treatment for reconditioning and reducing pain in the area.
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