Football is one of the most popular sports in the world because of its dynamism and the benefits it brings to health
In Italy, ISTAT (national statistics institute) has certified the practice by over 4 million people and, according to an American research published in Forbes, it is the favorite activity of 45% of the under 35 population. The months of forced stop due to the lockdown had negative impacts on the psychophysical conditions of the players, forced to postpone training on the field. Scenario that directly affected the resumption of football activity abroad: according to a survey by the WPA - World Players' Association published on Reuters, in fact, the risk of injuries went from 0.27% to 0.88% in the former Bundesliga days, effectively tripling. And again, according to research published on the BBC, playing numerous games in a month increases the risk of accidents by 25%. Physical problems that have recently brought many players together: from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, victim of an injury to the soleus muscle of the right calf, to Gonzalo Higuain, injured in his right thigh, by Suat Serdar, who remedied an injury to the external ligament of the left knee, to Radja Nainggolan, stopped by a first degree distraction of the soleus muscle of the right calf, up to Simone Verdi, blocked by a first degree injury to the left femoral rectum.
But what are the expert advice to prevent and treat the most frequent injuries with the return of the championship?
Follow a recovery protocol to re-oxygenate and revascularize the muscles, prefer a type of "eccentric" training and resort to cryostretching and, in case of stop, rely on Theal Therapy laser therapy to reduce recovery times.
“The resumption of football after months of prolonged stop due to the health emergency is closely related to the increase in the risk of accidents. Unlike the classic annual summer break, in fact, in this period the players experienced a significant decrease in the "O2 Max", meaning the maximum volume of oxygen consumable over time, precisely because of forced inactivity –
explained Dr . Paolo Tenconi, professional athletic physician / trainer and Uefa B coach –
Due to Covid, training has been reduced to the bone and there has been a reduction in aerobic power, muscle strength and a change in body composition. For this reason, with the resumption of the championship, players must follow a recovery protocol to re-oxygenate and revascularize the muscles, working with targeted exercises on adductors, calves, hamstrings and flexors. To avoid the danger of serious injuries, Theal Therapy becomes a valid ally thanks to its decontracting benefits and a photobiomodulatory effect that maximizes the therapeutic result ”.
But what are the other most common injuries in football?
The most vulnerable parts are the lower limbs, subject to traumatic injuries, such as a kick in the leg or a twist of the knee, and to excessive muscular effort. The players are sensitive to these physical problems due to rapid changes of direction, lateral movements, rapid accelerations and decelerations. According to a study by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, the most common injuries are muscle strains (25.8%), followed by ligament sprains (25.3%), bruises (20.3%) and concussions (5.5%). Cartilage tears and anterior cruciate ligament sprains are some of the most common injuries that require surgery. But that's not all, because in youth football 30% of injuries are caused by bad conditions on the playing field and 45% by the use of sports shoes not suitable for their conformation.
Finally, here is the expert handbook to prevent and treat the most frequent injuries related to the resumption of football activity:
• 1 •
SUBJECT TO A CAREFUL PHYSICAL EVALUATION
Listening to the advice of a professional athletic trainer is essential to assess any postural imbalances and prevent injury and inflammation.
• 2 •
FOLLOW A RECOVERY PROTOCOL WITH A MEDICAL STAFF
To re-oxygenate and revascularize the muscles, it is necessary to work with exercises aimed at stretching the lower limbs.
• 3 •
WEAR SUITABLE SPORTS FOOTWEAR
Sprains, tendinitis and dislocations can be caused by the use of inadequate footwear. Studded shoes ensure better control, especially on wet or tall grass.
• 4 •
STRETCHING BEFORE AND AFTER TRAINING
Carrying out a good warm-up is important to prevent the risk of injuries, but equally are all stretching exercises and postures suitable for maintaining a certain elasticity of the muscular districts.
• 5 •
HYDRATE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER MATCHES
Staying properly hydrated is the main warning to ensure optimal athletic performance, reducing fatigue and stress. Even moderate levels of dehydration can damage the results in the field.
• 6 •
PREFER A TYPE OF ECCENTRIC TRAINING
The training sessions should focus on exercises aimed at improving the motor control and muscle capacity of the adductors, calves and quadriceps of the femur.
• 7 •
SUBJECT TO DECONTRACTING MASSAGES
Playing football puts the muscular system under constant stress: to avoid contractures, strains and tears it is useful to periodically undergo massages that allow relaxation of the muscles.
• 8 •
AVOID DAMAGE FROM FUNCTIONAL OVERLOAD
The player must learn to listen to his body and dose the workloads during training to avoid overload stress.
• 9 •
CHECK THE CONDITIONS OF THE PLAYING FIELD
Do not underestimate the conditions of the field, both outdoors and indoors: make sure that there are no cracks, the presence of debris, wet and that the surface is suitable for the correct conduct of the game.
• 10 •
IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT, USE LASER THERAPY
The use of the Theal Therapy laser has proved extremely useful in the treatment and faster recovery of acute-chronic diseases related to the world of football.