Whether you’re a five-a-side Figo, a Sunday league Shearer or a Premier League Pirlo, if you regularly play football, you’ll know how easy it is to pick up injuries – especially when you get older. As well as being official partners of Rangers FC, we also support a number of Premier league teams to help players and physio teams manage rehab and recovery, and after a season like we’ve just had, it’s just what the doctor ordered.
According to Premier Injuries, Premier League teams lost on average of 577 days to injury last season1 – with Liverpool the major outlier losing a staggering 1,032 days to injuries to key players including Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson. According to another study, that costs Premier League teams on average over £45 million a season due to lost wage costs and decreases in performance thanks to injury.
With so many days (and so much money) lost, we wanted to look at some of the most common footballing injuries to understand how they happen and why – so here they are:
The groin plays a big part in the way a player can move and shoot the ball, so groin injuries often blight the shooting foot of a player and account for around 10% of all footballing injuries2. Often called athletic groin, the most common type of groin strain for athletes and footballers particularly, is an adductor strain. This acute injury might occur after an overstretched tackle or when a player suddenly changes direction and the muscle tears or completely ruptures. Graded from 1 to 3 by seriousness, players can further aggravate their injury by playing on, turning a minor tear into something more serious.
One knee injury that many football fans will be very familiar with is the dreaded ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, injury. Most recently, Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk suffered a complete rupture which kept him out for most of the season and out of this year’s Euro’s. Although he’s not the first, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Roy Keane and Alan Shearer all had career threatening ACL injuries during their careers. Varying from tears to ruptures, severe ACL ruptures will require surgery and mean a long rehab and recovery period for players sometimes up to a year out of the game.3
Daryl Carter, Leeds United First Team Physiotherapist, is one of a number of Premier League teams using BioWaveGO to help players as they recover from procedures like ACL reconstructions:
“We have found the device useful in reducing post-operative pain allowing rehabilitation to be started earlier and progressed quicker.”
Knee injuries and knee pain can be serious for professional footballers. One common knee injury is a meniscal tear. These cartilage tears often happen to players when they’re changing direction at speed. You’ll often be able to tell early if you can’t put much pressure on your injured leg and have swelling around your knee. Meniscal tears are also more likely to happen if a player has had an ACL injury – with around 7% seeing meniscal tears during the recovery period.
We’ve all seen it, a player, off the ball pulls up and holds the back of their leg – their hamstring has gone. Hamstring injuries are some of the most common in football, with an average rate of 5 hamstring injuries per club per season on average. Injuries are most commonly incurred when a player is running, with 62% happening during a match. Hamstring injuries are also much more likely to reoccur than other injuries, with a 12% re-injury rate compared to just 7% on average for other injury types.4
Football ankle injuries
Ankle injuries and ankle pain are particularly common in football because it’s easy to twist the ankle awkwardly when trapping a ball or moving at speed. Sprained ankles are very common, particularly for amateur footballers who may not take proper precautions. You can help prevent sprained ankles by taping your ankles or using a brace to help reduce the impact of an awkward twist or fall to your ligaments. To treat a minor sprain with ankle pain, you should follow the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation in the days after your injury.
Suffering from pain as a result of a sporting injury? Looking for a solution to reduce pain and help you recover quicker, BioWaveGO is available to buy now. Find out more about how we’re supporting elite sports people, here.