Football injuries – do you need a Chiropractor or Physio?

By Tom Greenway, Chiropractor

Having worked at Chelsea Football Club and Queens Park Rangers, Waldegrave Clinic Director Tom Greenway advises which is the best treatment to seek when suffering a football injury.

If you are a football player you might be surprised – or not – to learn that the injury rate for football is 8.5 injuries per1000 hours of soccer.

And 67% of all injuries that occur in soccer happen during a game rather than in training.

This may seem a lot, but if you compare that with professional rugby where the injury rate is 120 injuries/1000 hours, it’s not too much to worry about.

However, once you have a football injury it is frustrating because not only does it hurt – it ultimately stops you from doing what you love. So you want to get the pain cleared up and be moving again as quickly as possible.

 What is the best type of treatment for football injuries?

Firstly let’s look at the major types of injury:

  •  Strains (41%)
  • Sprains (20%)
  • Contusions (20%)

Football injuries tend to happen most often in the 15 minute periods at the end of each half. Let’s now look at the major locations of injury, most of which occur to the dominant body side.

  •  Thigh (23%)
  • Ankle (17%)
  • Knee (14%)
  • Lower leg (13%)

In my experience soft tissue injuries, like sprains and strains to ligaments and muscles do really well with physiotherapy. A physiotherapist is very experienced with these types of injuries; they know how to get you out of pain and what exercises you need to do to get you back to playing.

The science behind preventing these injuries recurring is also getting much better. Following a physiotherapist’s advice and doing the exercises you are given is hugely important.

However, 22% of all injuries do recur and this accumulating affect means that the more injuries you get – the more likely you are to injure it again.

 Recurring injuries or complex injuries

If you are suffering from recurring injuries or a more complex injury pattern, for example groin pain and a tight hamstring then it is often worth seeking the opinion of a chiropractor.

Should you also suffer back pain and feel this is contributing to an injury then a chiropractor is used to and very experienced at treating back pain.

 Combining treatments – a multi disciplinary approach

I was extremely privileged to manage the Physical Therapies Workstream at London 2012 for both the Olympics and Paralympics. One of my highlights was working with such talented practitioners, who advocated a multi disciplinary approach. Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Massage therapists all worked together, to ensure optimum fitness for the athletes.

It is the same multi disciplinary approach that we practice at the Waldegrave Clinic.

If you are suffering a football injury  then do give the clinic a call and we can help: 020 8943 2424

Tom Greenway, Chiropractor and Clinic Director at The Waldegrave Clinic

Tom Greenway, Chiropractor and Clinic Director at The Waldegrave Clinic