Footballers’ Injuries

A footballer’s life is not always easy. These days, there are more and more matches and that means more and more stress for the footballer. The constant overuse of ligaments and muscles can result in endless injuries. At the time of writing, there are fifty injured footballers in the Liga, some of whom do not know when they can return to the pitch.

Below are the most common injuries and their causes. The injuries can be divided into two catagories Acute or Cumulative. Acute injuries refer to traumatic injuries caused by falls, blows or collisions with other players. Cumulative injuries refer to repetitive stress on the muscles, joints or connective tissues.

KNEE INJURIES These are the most common type and are provoked when the players have to stop and change direction. This causes extreme rotational stress on the knee and the ligaments.

When stress exceeds the limitations of the ligament, a sprain or tear occurs.

There are four cruciate ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. They are the following.

ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT (ACL) – at the front of the joint.

POSTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT (PCC) – at the back of the joint.

MEDIAL COLLATERAL (MCL) – inside the joint.

A knee injury can be graded – a mild sprain, a partial tear, or a complete tear.

ANKLE SPRAIN  This can be caused by the stretching and tearing of the ligaments surrounding the ankle.

ACHILLES TENDONITIS  A chronic injury as the result of overuse which causes pain at the back of the ankle.

ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURE  A partial or complete tear of the Achilles tendon.

CONCUSSION  Mild traumatic brain injury.

GROIN PULL  Strain when the muscles of the inner thigh are stretched beyond limit.

HAMSTRING INJURIES  This involves problems with the three back muscles of the thigh, There can be minor strain or total rupture.

PASTELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME  This happens when the cartilage under the kneecap is damaged or overused.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS  Common foot pain caused by the inflamation of the band of tissues which runs from the heel to the toes.

PULLED CALF MUSCLE  This is when one of the muscles of the lower leg, the gastrocnemius or the soleces is pulled from the Achilles tendon.

SHIN SPLINTS  These are a variety of painful symptons which develop in the front lower leg due to excess training.

STRESS FRACTURES  These are due to overuse of the bones or repeated impacts on the bones.

TENDINITIS  The inflamation of the tendon due to overuse or stress on the tendón.

It must be remembered that any type of injury has a serious effect on the footballer and the team.