Football is quite easily one of the most popular sports in the world right now, being played by all age groups and all genders, from school playgrounds all the way up to older people who are switching from football to walking football.
With this popularity however, comes a large amount of injuries. Just over 2 and a half months into the 2017-18 premier league season, the injury count was at 74. It is said that footballers have more injuries than those participating in rugby, hockey, basketball, cricket, badminton, cycling, judo and swimming with an average of 9 to 35 injuries in every 1000 hours of the sport being played.
However, the injuries sustained in football are not as serious as those experienced in other sports.
The 5 most common football related injuries in adults are:
1. Hamstring Strain
The most common injury in football is most definitely the infamous hamstring strain. This is where one of the three hamstring muscles has such a large force going through it that it stretches and possibly tears the muscle fibres. This can come from the muscle being too tight and stretching the muscle that little bit too far to get the ball or running at high speed while fatigued and the muscle isn’t getting the nutrients required to work efficiently. This injury accounts for around 40% of the injuries seen in a premier league season.
2. Lateral Ankle Sprain
The second most common injury in football is the lateral ankle sprain. This occurs when the foot doesn’t land correctly and falls under the body, causing the ligaments to become stretched and possibly torn. This comes from a lack of balance and can cause more serious conditions like chronic ankle instability. This injury accounts for up to 17% of the injuries in a premier league season and sees on average 4.9 injuries per 1000 hours of the sport.
3. Knee Meniscus
The third most common injury is a knee meniscus tear. This happens when the foot is planted into the ground and the knee twists or turns in an unnatural position causing the meniscus to tear to enable it to continue the movement. This injury accounts for approximately 12% of the injuries seen in a premier league season.
Hernia’s are something that many people wouldn’t expect to see on this list but are something that occurs a lot in football due to the stress footballers put on their body. Hernia’s are where an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or fascia that is trying to protect it, it occurs from the high stresses of footballers kicking the ball as hard as they can. The reason why this occurs so often is because of the main three areas you can get a hernia: the groin, the upper thigh and the abdomen.
5. Anterior Cruciate Ligament
When being diagnosed with an injury, the dreaded words that no sportsperson wants to hear is torn ACL. This injury occurs when the knee experiences a sudden change in direction and the lower part of leg continues to move forward and the top part doesn’t follow suit causing the ligament to stretch but most commonly tear.
There other injuries that are quite common like concussions which make up 2-3% of injuries in football and go with the likes of contusions, shin splints, metatarsal fractures, patellar and Achilles tendonitis. These are common but still not as frequently seen as the injuries shown here.
If the worst was to occur and you do experience one of the injuries on this list, we would always recommend early diagnosis and treatment. Our team of therapists here at Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic have many years’ experience in the diagnosis and treatment of sporting injuries, and we are on hand 6 days per week to support you on your journey to being match fit.