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soccer injury

Returning from a Soccer Injury

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Soccer is the most played sport in the world and is the number one sport in many countries. It is a great cardiovascular workout that combines aerobic and anaerobic movements. However, due to the sudden changes in pace and the speed at which the game is played there is a high chance of a soccer injury.

Sports injury expert Dr. David Geier reveals that that the six most common soccer injuries are ankle sprains, joint fractures, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, meniscus tear, adductor strain, and hamstring strains. These injuries are due to the amount of stress a soccer player will put on their leg joints. The good news is that through physical therapy these injuries can be recovered from.

Ankle Sprains
The ankle sprain is the most common and least serious soccer injury. The most common recovery method is to put ice on the ankle to stop the swelling, strap it, and lightly exercise it through physical therapy. One effective motion exercise is to sit on a chair with the foot flat on the floor and gently move the knee from side-to-side to stop it becoming stiff. A player should be out for a maximum of six weeks.

ACL
An ACL soccer injury can leave a player out of the game for much longer. For example, an ACL tear may require surgery (making a new ligament) in order to return to the pitch. While surgery may be required, physical therapy is definitely needed to help rebuild knee strength. The exercises will include mobility and strength exercises such as knee flexion and extension, heel slides, and isometric quadriceps exercises. As the knee joint gets stronger, plyometric drills will be introduced to the therapy to see whether the knee is strong enough to play competitive sport. These exercises may include resistance band jumps, hopping exercises and box jumps.

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Hamstring Strains
After knee and ankle injuries the next most common injury are hamstring strains. These are often caused through a combination of sudden explosive moments and overuse. We have all seen a soccer, football, or basketball player burst forward only to suddenly stop and crumple to the ground. That is nearly always a hamstring injury. Depending on which grade of hamstring injury the player has will change the therapy needed. If it is a grade one injury then as the muscle slowly heals the player will use ice alongside resting. Function training will also be required to regain strength and flexibility. A grade two or three injury may require surgery.

Career Threatening Injuries
A career threatening injury is the biggest risk of playing soccer. However, there is hope for injured and senior soccer players. Walking Soccer, which was developed in 2011 in England, according to British newspaper The Telegraph, allows those with mobility injuries to keep playing. As the name suggests running is outlawed, which in turns takes much of the risk and pressure off of the leg joints that can be easily injured.

The new game has been endorsed by English soccer legends such as Alan Shearer, who according to journalist Dan Fitch who works for news site Betfair Soccer who preview the Champions League fixtures in Europe, is the third fastest player to score 50 goals in the English Premier League. Shearer himself is retired and told The Telegraph that after retiring he couldn’t play the sport he made his name in due to persistent injuries. Walking Soccer has allowed Shearer and other ex-pros to play without the worry of injuries or heavy contact from other players. For amateurs and professionals alike walking soccer is a godsend.

Soccer injuries can be serious and more often that not require physical therapy to recover from. Even if you have suffered a serious injury there is still hope through new sports such as Walking Soccer.

Plantar Fasciitis

Hamstring Tightness and Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar fasciitis is classically characterized by pain in the central to medial plantar heel. It is thought to be caused by chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia due to repetitive strain and trauma to the fascia. There are many other purported causes including, calcaneal spurs and increased intraosseous calcaneal pressure, among others. Many studies have shown inflammatory and histological changes at the origin of plantar fascia and surrounding structures that are consistent with repetitive strain and degenerative changes including a thickening of the fascia.

Biomechanics has long been looked at when investigating possible causes to injuries. Alteration of the load bearing characteristics of the foot has been suggested by several studies to be the underlying problem in plantar fasciitis. Microtears and chronic degenerative changes result from the increased tensile stress places on the fascia due to the changes in biomechanics. Muscles tightness is one factor that can lead to changes in gait mechanics and load bearing of the foot. Hamstring tightness has recently been investigated as a factor in plantar fasciitis and has been shown to induce prolonged forefoot loading due to increased knee flexion during gait. A rapid progression through the contact phase of gait results from increased knee flexion and in turn increases forefoot pressure. The fascia is a fixed length ligament, so an increase in forefoot pressure results in increased tension at it’s insertion on the calcaneous. The increased time spent on the forefoot in gait leads to a chronic traction injury that is localized to the hindfoot insertion of the fascia; which is consistent with the symptoms of heel pain.

plantar

Biomechanical deficits have long been contributed to injuries. Only recently has hamstring tightness been shown to have an effect on plantar fasciitis. Hamstring tightness effects every step, resulting in a biomechanical deficit which may contribute to tensile overload of the plantar fasciitis. The recent studies suggest that all patients with plantar fasciitis should be evaluated for hamstring tightness. Physical therapy treatment for plantar fasciitis should include hamstring stretching.

More information about Plantar Fasciitis can be found in the PTandMe injury center.

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This information was written by Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists. They are committed to using evidence-based treatments in their practice. This means that their therapists utilize the most current and clinically relevant treatments in their approach to rehabilitation. For more information click here.

golf stretches

Dynamic Golf Stretches

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Golf requires strength, flexibility, endurance and power to create pain free movement and improve your game. The most common golf injury is low back pain followed by shoulder pain and knee pain. A physical therapist can assist you in improving your pain and correct your body’s deficits.  These golf stretches will make your golf game less painful and reduce those extra strokes:

hamstring stretch

Hamstring Stretch
(move from upright into stretched position 10x)

back extension stretch

Back Extension Stretch
(hold club backwards overhead, repeat 10x)

hip back shoulder rotation

Hip/Back/Shoulder Rotation Stretch
(hold club behind back and rotate torso to each side 10x)

calf stretch

Calf Stretch
(move from upright into stretched position 10x)

lumbar rotation 1

lumbar rotation 2

Lumbar Spine Rotation
(hold club, plant feet as shown, rotate to each side 10x)

forearm rotation 1

forearm rotation 2

forearm rotation 3

Forearm Rotation
(hold club straight up, then rotate to each side 10x)

This information was written by Mishock Physical Therapy and Associates, a privately-owned, outpatient physical therapy practice operating 6 clinics in 2 counties located in southeast Pennsylvania. They actively participate in the community by providing services to schools, retirement communities and local businesses. Their mission is to provide the most efficacious, state-of-the-art physical therapy services to relieve pain, restore function and return you to the highest quality of life possible. For more information click here.