Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and in Canada millions of people play every year. In fact, in terms of numbers soccer is the nation’s most popular sport, with nearly 3 million people participating every year.
Soccer builds teamwork, cardiovascular performance, and develops balance, agility, coordination and core strength. It is enjoyed by young and old, and people of all body sizes, but like all sports soccer can take its toll - leading to serious injuries.
Soccer injuries can be broken down into two categories:
Bruises, scrapes, breaks or fractures caused by kicks, head-butts, trips, or falls.
Muscle, ligament and joint injuries
These injuries can result from over-use of the muscles, joints, and tendons. Such injuries include, shin splints, patellar tendinitis (knee pain), ankle pain and even stress fractures.
Other common soccer injuries include pulled muscles, twisted joints, tendon injuries caused by overuse, twists, and falls.
Physiotherapy helps prevent soccer injuries
Physiotherapy is the most effective way of dealing with a soccer injury, but don’t wait until after an injury occurs.
There isn’t much you can do when it comes to impact injuries, but often preventative physiotherapy can make all the difference when it comes to strains, twists, and sprains caused by overuse or strain. How?
Physiotherapy builds strength
Physiotherapy strengthens muscles, which helps prevent fatigue during soccer matches. Muscle fatigue (in addition to being a painful condition in its own right) can lead to greater strain on joints, and more laboured movement which results in sprains, twists and ligament damage.
Physiotherapy builds flexibility
Physiotherapy also increases flexibility, which is another crucial factor in preventing injury. Greater flexibility diminishes the risk of pulled muscles, strains and ligament damage while running, or stretching for the ball.
Your physio appointment
The first step towards preventing soccer injuries with physiotherapy is to have an assessment done. You do not need a doctor’s referral to begin physiotherapy, but you should be familiar with your medical history. Be prepared to arrive early in order to complete paperwork.
Once you arrive for your first session your physical condition will be evaluated. Your physiotherapist will assess your strength, range of motion, posture and balance. Book your assessment now.
After your assessment your physiotherapist will work with you to create a customised program which may include:
General tips to prevent soccer injuries
In addition to preventing soccer injuries with physio, make sure to keep these tips in mind:
You might think that massages are just a luxury, but for many people they are a crucial part of their rehabilitation program. Patients who are recovering from serious physical injuries, suffering from chronic pain, or working hard to improve their overall well-being rely on the physical benefits of massage therapy.
How does massage work?
There are two main physiological responses behind massage therapy. First there is the involuntary relaxation response, which occurs through the nervous system and causes:
The relaxation response produced by massage helps reduce anxiety, hypertension, and a range of other issues.
There are also mechanical responses to massage therapy. In many patients contracted muscles squeeze or compress nerves, resulting in pain.
Massage therapy relaxes muscle tissues, reduces the pressure on sensitive nerves, and thereby alleviates pain.
Types of Massage
Not every type of massage delivers the same physical benefits. There are many types of massage, which use a range of techniques to provide different physical benefits.
Swedish massage is a gentle massage that focuses on long strokes, vibration, circular movements and kneading.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage employs slow, forceful motions to hit deep muscle tissues. This is particularly helpful for recovering from sports injuries and stiffness.
Trigger point massage
Trigger point massages zero in on specific areas or muscles to alleviate pain resulting from hypertension, injury or overuse.
Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage is a special type of massage in which smooth, warmed stones are placed on your body, or used as an extension of the therapist’s hands to enhance the beneficial effects of massage.
The physical benefits of massage therapy
Regardless of which type of massage therapy you undergo, there are a range of physical benefits including:
Curious whether massage therapy can help improve your health? Book an initial assessment with one of our experienced massage therapists to discuss whether massage can help you achieve your personal health goals.