Bangalow Summer 6’s has been going for 6 weeks now and Kim Snellgrove the new owner of Bangalow Physiotherapy has been on the side lines every week giving advice and education to the teams and to perform some pre game taping. As prevention is the best cure we thought it might be helpful to discuss some of the ways we can help prevent soccer injuries.
Most of the taping pre game has been to ankles. This is recommended for high level activity after you have previously had an ankle sprain and helps to prevent recurrence.
There has also been a high prevalence of rectus femoris tears – which is one of the muscles of the quadriceps in the anterior thigh. This is a common football injury from kicking. Post injury management does differ dependent on severity of the injury but as a general rule icing in the first 2-3 days is still recommended as well as compression of the injury. You should also avoid stretching into pain. It is then beneficial to seek professional advice for ongoing management of your injury for optimal return to sport.
Some of the participants who experienced anterior thigh strains reported that they did not warm up or rushed there warm up which shows how important warm up can be to preventing injury. Warm up should include a general warming of the body with walking, then jogging and then active stretching. Active stretching involves movement of all joints of the body through their full range of motion as a movement rather than a static hold.
The PEP program which stands for Prevent Injury and Enhanced Performance has also been shown to assist in preventing soccer related injuries. It was developed by the Santa Monica Sports Medicine Research Foundation. When the PEP program was first trialed in 2002 it was found to reduce ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears in soccer players by 41%.
The PEP program should be performed three time per week. The PEP program takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. It involves 5 components:
- Warm Up – 30 seconds jog forward, 30 seconds side to side jog, 30 seconds backward jog
- Strengthening – Walk lunge one minute, Nordic Hamstrings 30 seconds, Single Heel Raises
- Plyometrics – two legged lateral jumps over a 5 cm high cone 30 seconds, then forward and backward jumps over the cone for 30 seconds.
- Agility – sprinting with emphasis on a three step deceleration
- Stretches – calf, hamstrings, quads and inner thigh
As we know prevention is the best cure, so before the next session of the Summer 6’s the participants might start a PEP program 4-6 weeks before the session. It is easily viewed on You-tube, but if you would like more advice you can find Kim at Bangalow Physiotherapy.
Gilchrist, J et al., Am J Sports Med. 2008 Aug;36(8):1476-83. doi: 10.1177/0363546508318188. A randomized controlled trial to prevent noncontact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury in Female Collegiate Soccer Players.