Knee/ligament injuries within football
I recently read the article on the BBC website by Karl Braidwood on the angst of the increased incidence of ligament injuries in the football premier league. Here is a link to the article.
It is well written with a good amount of detail and is looking at the opinions of the experts as to ‘why’ there has been such a great increase of ligament injuries in football over the past few years. It is massively expensive to have football players that are unable to play. They are taking about £177m in wages paid to injured (all injuries) players just last season!!! And of those, knee injuries appear to be the costliest!!
There are many contributing factors for this increase.
Several experts have given their opinions. Included in these is the amount of football played, the kind of footwear and the newer and more modern/harder pitches. Most of these make complete sense and I wanted to explore these a little.
The consultant talks about players overplaying and fatigue. This makes huge sense as the impact of the amount of training and games played per season is massive. The games are faster and more challenging. The players are certainly fitter than they were in the 60s, 70s and 80s….. they do train harder. The ‘capacity’ in their bodies needs to be there for them to play and train this way. If the capacity is absent or not available at the time and the player is fatigued, injury becomes more of a possibility as their bodies are less able to cope with the demand.
With the advent of modern pitch construction the pitches are much more able to cope with the wear and tear and still look great for TV with ‘whatever’ logo they choose to place on it….. But the pitches are harder and this also helps to prevent the player slipping. This will take its toll as there is less give under the players boot and the next link in the chain is the knee!! There is a balance between ‘zero’ give under foot and a small amount of give.
The ‘footwear expert’ talks about the ‘softer and less supportive boots’ are a large factor as to why knee injuries are more prevalent in football as the pace of the game is increasing exponentially. I am not so sure about this and feel that a stiffer boot will again put more strain up onto the knee.
For those of you that are old enough….. do you remember those fantastic ‘high-tops’ that were developed for basketball? They all wore them for some time. Then they realised that MORE injuries were happening. They took the high-tops out of the leagues and injury rates went back down again to where they were before.
What is really not talked about is the kind of training that they do do. Maybe it is that this needs to be changed or adapted to cope with the modern challenges that are faced of the fatigue and the different surfaces that are played on. I think that they could do much more three dimensional loading and improved training into how the body copes with changes in direction. This could be done with arms below their hips and overhead. The players bodies need to be taken gradually into those positions of ‘vulnerability’ to get them adapting to those ‘stresses’ and to get their neurological systems more ‘proprioceptively’ aware.
Sometimes we will get injured. It happens. There will always be injuries like Zlatan Ibrahimovic hurting his knee. Link here. He did land badly on one leg as he was travelling backwards and his body was very upright…….. his knee just ‘had no place to go’.
If you are concerned about your knee or any other muscle or joint, come in and see one of our great osteopaths who can fully assess and treat you.
The above is the opinion of Back to Back and is not in any way intended as advice. IF you are concerned about your training and want more information, see a great health professional.