A Euro 2016 Special on Preventing Sport Injuries

For England, there was a considerable loss of talent going in to this years Euro 2016 compeition. Left back and Manchester United star Luke Shaw succumbed to a double leg fracture early in the season and is yet to recover. Danny Welbeck, an Arsenal striker with a poor history of injuries, suffered significant cartilage damage to his knee in May and won’t recover for months yet. Jack Butland would have been looking to challenge Joe Hart for the goalkeeper spot, but he fractured his ankle in the recent win against Germany.

Foreign teams have suffered too, with Italy losing midfield talismans like Marco Verratti and Claudio Marchisio, and France losing Real Madrid’s own Raphael Varane.

Professional players may have a team of trained physiotherapists with cutting edge medical equipment to help them, but football injury statistics show these accidents are still prominent. Not everyone has this staff of professionals ready to run to their aid, either.

We are going to take a look at the best ways you personally can prevent sports injuries to yourself.

  1. Know your limits

    Pushing yourself is one thing, but not knowing your limits and going past them can cause serious damage. Endorphins and adrenaline mean you can often run through pain, but this is not always recommended – no matter how close you are to the finish line or how much your team need a goal, an injury is an injury.

  2. Dress appropriately

    If you’re playing football, you should be wearing shin pads. If you’re running, you should be wearing running shoes. If you’re boxing, you should be wearing a mouth guard. It might seem unnecessary at first, but this equipment could be the difference between one poor slide tackle potentially ending your career or just giving your team a free kick.

  3. Technique, technique, technique

    Technique is one of the most important things when it comes to sports; in regards to ability and safety. Taking a free kick with the wrong technique might mean that you miss it, but exercising with the wrong technique could mean that you potentially seriously damage yourself. Physiotherapists can help teach you the right and wrong ways to exercise, whether they are private or employed by your team.

  4. Warm up

    Running straight in to the middle of a match with no warm up or stretches could result in serious muscle damage. Even something that’s considered ‘easier’ like running or weight lifting should be carefully prepared for, with a light jog and then a course of stretches to loosen up the body.

  5. Know the rules

    While the offside rule might not be designed with your health and fitness in mind, as a whole, rules in sport are often intended to keep the players safe. These exist for the purpose of a fair game and a safe (or at least as safe as possible) environment. An example of this the high boot rule in football, where a person making a tackle cannot make that tackle with a foot higher than their waist. This is to protect the upper body of players, specifically the head, and a recent example of this can be found when looking at the recent Republic of Ireland v Belgium match.

We wish England all the best as they progress into the next round of the competition. If you want to keep up to date with the health, physiotherapy and orthopaedic industries, remember to follow OrthTeam on our Twitter account for the news that matters - when it breaks.

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