It’s been a long season and it’s coming up to that time. End of season. Finals. This is what you and your team have been working towards for all year.
But can you still perform at your best
You’re sore. After every game you’re sore for longer. Those little niggles and injuries you’ve had, haven’t gone away like you expected and it is getting hard to give 100% each game. Sound familiar?
As a physiotherapist this is the time that I see a lot of athletes with progressive or ignored injuries that have worsened until they are limiting performance.
Then, the week of the finals, players come in and ask me to get them better so they can play and perform in finals…..I just wish they had come in a few weeks before.
This winter has been cold and often wet, giving rise to a variety of playing surfaces during the season. One week you may be on a hard, dry ground, then the next week it is soft and muddy. This causes varying loads on your body, with differing muscle usage and differing boots.
All of which can add up to a collection of load-based injuries that most athletes play through, but which can worsen and become debilitating.
The most common of these injuries are:
- ‘Shin Splints’,
- Achilles and foot problems
- “Osteitis Pubis” or groin pain.
Shin splints is an aching pain in the shins, usually in the front or inside edge of the tibia (the big shin bone). It is caused by excessive and improper loading of the ankle stabilising muscles, usually through running on very hard or very muddy and soft surfaces, or secondary to other injuries/problems.
The shin pain tends to be worse once you have ceased activity (e.g. post-game) and can take a few minutes up to hours to ease. However, worse than the post-game pain are the limitations: shin splints when very sore can make acceleration and braking very difficult, and can slow and deteriorate your performance on the field.
Throughout a season the Achilles and feet can take a pounding. Between fitness training, team training sessions, hard turf, new boots, big studs – the load can build and cause pain with loading of the foot and Achilles.
This can limit your ability to push off, land from a jump, accelerate, and change direction.
Groin pain, including Osteitis publis are primarily injuries of excessive load. Throughout a season the hips can take a pounding, with changing of direction to avoid defenders, acceleration/deceleration cycles, and kicking sports.
The pain usually starts off innocuous but builds the longer it is ignored, and can often limit you for days and weeks after games. This explains why it can worsen through the season if ignored.
Though most of these injuries need time off and rest in order to recover, there are some treatments that can be performed in order to nurse them through until after your finals/season break.
However, seeking treatment the week of your big game is simply not going to cut it.
Come in now and see myself or one of the physiotherapy team at Waverley Park Physiotherapy Centre now and see what can be done to keep you performing at your best until season’s end, when you’ll have time to fully rest and recover.
Call our reception for a treatment consultation on 9795 0668.
About the Author:
Jordan Coleman is a physiotherapist consulting at Waverley Park Physiotherapy where his main clinical interests include Acute Sports and Spinal injuries, Clinical PilatesandDry Needling.He is the current match day physio for the Knox Football Club (Soccer). He has a keen interest in sports, especially touch rugby, where he played in state league teams.