Full guide to looking after your entire body for football. From head to toe. (A WORK IN PROGRESS)
Lets start, your feet are quite important, if they sustain a injury how are you going to get your conversions in?
Running can overtime cause long-term damage as running applies great pressure and strain on the ligaments, tendons and bones in your foot but these strains don’t just effects your feet but the pressure, stress and pain can travel up through your feet up to your knees, legs and hips… and that is just running. in football there are plenty more hazards to your feet and body that can cause much more damage. That is why you need at least some protection. As we all know football is one of the harshest and toughest sports around.. with so many clashes of bodies and power means injury can be very much inevitable but minimizing the damage caused can be easily done. Protecting your feet from the shocks pressures and pressures is one way to start. Just buying some good $10 insoles can be one simple but effective way to protect and better support your feet.
In standard football shoes you will find that they will often not provide adequate support and the soles will be flat, this is bad flat insoles do not provide proper arch support that your feet really need. Flat insoles can cause excess strain on the arches of your feet as the plantar fascia becomes tight this is further exaggerated when running. Plantar fasciitis is therefore common in athletes that do not take all of this seriously and do not wear the best insoles.
The right footing and support in your shoes can also effect and improve your balance. Giving you more confidence in sports like football as you will be much more protected and secure in your footwear and better able to support yourself which is handy with all the quick movement and weaving in and out of players that is needed in football for example. In football if you aren’t caught up in a tackle or a collision somehow then you aren’t playing the game right! When you do get caught up in a collision those who are wearing good supportive footwear and insoles are less likely to sustain serious damage to their ankles. It is thought that those who have the right footwear and support are 30% less likely to sustain a sprained ankle when falling on their ankle awkwardly this is because of how good footwear can support the foot in a natural and strong position, overtime wearing good support has also shown to improve flexibility and strength in the foot tendons and ligaments which really helps prevent injury.
Achilles tendinitis can develop overtime through overuse of the heel through the build up of pressure under the heel, this has also been linked to tightening of the plantar fascia and like I have already explained this is a leading cause to plantar fasciitis. . Stopping the pressure build up under your heel is easily done.. you need to either get some insoles or heel pads that are designed to spread pressure making it less concentrated and instead spread shock evenly through out your foot instead.
Shin splits are a common problem one what just about everyone gets even if you are not a football player not not. The main cause of shin splits is the build up of pressure in the shin area often caused by over pronation of the the feet this causes tightening in the arch which then causes tightening in the Achilles tendon and as a results tightens the shins area too. Bad running technique and constant forces and pressure traveling up to your shin area when you run can be stopped through a pair of shock absorbing insoles (which really do the trick do the trick).
As you can see most of the injuries and problems can be helped just by wearing some decent insoles. To summarize make sure you get insoles that fit your correctly, put your feet in a natural potions, offer arch support spread pressure and absorb shocks and impact forces.
What about protecting your knees? Your knees are really quite important in any sport, but like any body part overuse and incorrect running technique, not warming up thoroughly before a match can cause lasting damage and injury from jumpers knee to acl knee injuries. These can be often avoided if you make sure you warm up so there ain’t no surprises half way through a game you can also buy knee supports that support your knee in such a way to help encourage correct movement in the knee helping to improve your movement in your knee and running technique and make it harder for you to move your knee in such a way that could potentially causes problems and damage to your knee too.
Upper body injuries
Most of the upper body problems and injuries in football are caused by poor posture. Being relaxed but aware of your posture may sound like a paradox but keeping your shoulders back relaxed (not rolled forward) and your head held high (as though you are being pulled up by a string attached to you head) and keeping your back straight helps to keep tension and pressure off your neck, back muscles and bones helping reducing fatigue as well and in collisions you will be in a much better position to come out of it injury through.. having bad posture is likely to mean that you muscles are less supportive, less able to cope under even more strain and in collisions you have a greater chance at falling into an even worse and compromising position causing even worse injuries. Good posture also helps you run faster as well! Back supports can be worn whilst playing football if you want to make sure that your posture is maintained through out the game. Back supports aren’t recommended for everyday however because they may weaken supportive muscles in the back as it is always best to make your muscles do the work where posture is concerned, but back supports do do a good jobs whilst you play football in maintaining good posture and help support the back correctly so when there is a collision the effects and damage to your back are minimized.