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Back Pain’s Coming Home! How to Avoid ending up in injury time. 

Football and sports injuries tend to go hand in hand and with the Euros just around the corner, now seems the right time to discuss how to avoid injury while playing. Now if you really want a pain free tournament we strongly advise not watching England play, but there are also lots you can do on and off the pitch to help yourself stay injury free. Furthermore keep an eye out for our videos on how to stretch out some of the key injury-prone muscles in our legs and low backs. 

Read more: Back Pain’s Coming Home! How to Avoid ending up in injury time. 

Let’s kick off.

So proper warm-up and cool-down routines are essential. A dynamic warm-up, including activities like light jogging, high knees, and leg swings, prepares the muscles and joints for the intense activity ahead. It increases blood flow, enhances flexibility, and reduces muscle stiffness. After the game, a cool-down involving static stretching and gentle movements helps in gradually lowering the heart rate and preventing muscle tightness.

Next, don’t neglect training both on the pitch and in the gym. Strengthening the core, legs, and upper body not only improves performance but also stabilises joints and reduces the risk of injuries. Exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and bench presses are beneficial. Additionally, incorporating plyometric exercises enhances explosive power, which is vital for sprints and sudden movements in football. We can put together personalised programs for our patients as well as communicate rehab needs with your own personal trainers should you want us to.

What else?

Make sure you incorporate flexibility and mobility exercises into your training. Tight muscles can lead to strains and tears. Stretching routines, yoga, and foam rolling are effective in maintaining muscle flexibility and joint mobility. Your chiropractor can assist in identifying areas of tightness and prescribe specific stretches to address these issues. We can also help release tension and focus on restoring healthy joint mechanics , which can be tricky on your own. There is a reason a lot of professional sports teams employ chiropractors! 

Now for diet: proper hydration and nutrition play a significant role in injury prevention. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and fatigue, increasing the risk of injury. Players should be encouraged to drink water before, during, and after the game. A balanced diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and micronutrients supports muscle recovery and overall health.

Now if you want to go for the full 90 minutes, rest and recovery are as important as active training. Overtraining can lead to chronic injuries and burnout. Incorporating rest days and ensuring adequate sleep allows the body to repair and strengthen. Techniques such as massage therapy, ice baths, and compression garments can aid in the recovery process, reducing muscle soreness and inflammation.

Last but not least…

Finally, don’t leave it to stoppage time and hope for a late winner. Regular assessments and screenings by a manual therapist can help in early detection of potential issues. Functional movement screenings and physical examinations identify imbalances, weaknesses, and areas of concern. Early intervention with corrective exercises and treatments can prevent minor issues from escalating into major injuries. It can also help with mental preparation by reducing stress and anxiety that often effect focus and increasing the risk of injury. Ask us about diaphragmatic breathing, it’s a game changer. 

By working with your chiropractor, you can significantly reduce your risk of injury while playing football. We are also checking for an offside flag regarding these awful football related puns. However, if you have found this helpful, book a free 15 chat or new patient consultation to see how we can get you to the top of your game. In the meantime, enjoy the Euros and remember, it’s the taking part that counts! (This blog was written by a Scotland fan). 

Find out more about Glen, the author of this blog, here.