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Preventing knee pain in soccer players

 

You don’t have to be around the beautiful game of soccer for too long before you become familiar with knee injuries.  In some cases, these can be season ending and in others a persistent niggle.

 

Traumatic injuries such as ACL tears can be prevented (up to a point) with strength and conditioning exercises that build motor control, balance and power.  However, if a player is unlucky enough to experience a large twisting and side bend force to the knee, even the best prepared player can sustain a major tear.

 

 A common problematic knee condition we see is Patella Tendonitis and variants of this presentation.  These types of conditions can be related to:

  • Overuse with repeated stress on the tendon from running, kicking and jumping

  • Direct impact from a tackle

 

Some people are more susceptible to these injuries due to structural alignment of their feet knees, hips, and pelvis. 

 

 

Diagnosis

 

The patella tendon runs from the base of the kneecap to the bump at the top of the shin.  When this tendon becomes inflamed it is called ‘Patella Tendonitis’ (also known as jumper’s knee) and can cause pain either behind the kneecap or across and front of the knee.  This pain is usually aggravated with activity such as playing soccer or walking up and down stairs.

 

Similar injuries that also cause front knee pain in young boys include Patella Tracking Dysfunction and Osgood Schlatter’s disease.

 

 

Treatment and Recovery

 

  1. Ice for 20mins directly to knee.  This is especially important immediately following training and game day or following any aggravating activity.  If pain is significant, this should continue every 3-4 hours for several days.

 

  1. Infra-patella brace or strapping.  The brace sits immediately below the kneecap and creates compression and stabilization for the knee.  The brace can be worn during activity, though taping the tendon is more appropriate for game day.

 

  1. Physiotherapy and Chiropractic care.  While mild cases of patella tendonitis can be self-managed, persistent or more significant pain may require professional assistance.  A wholistic focus that includes full body assessment is important to understand where in the biomechanical chain things are breaking down.  Both hip and foot imbalances are common causes of knee pain and tendonitis.  Spinal adjustments, cold laser therapy, dry needling and rehabilitative exercise and also commonly used interventions to help these presentations.

 

  1. Managing load.  Particularly with adolescents, where bony growth plates are still open, load must be appropriately managed.  Time away from activity might be required to allow the body to heal.

 

 

Prevention and Pre-habilitation

 

We all know prevention is better than cure. 

Strong lower limb muscles with good alignment and balance

don’t just happen, they need work. 

Exercises that help prevent knee problems include.

 

  • Ankle and calf stretching

  • Hamstring stretches

  • Squats

  • Gluteal activation – resisted clams

  • Hip flexors stretching

 

 

If you would like more information or a consult with one of our professional team, you can call Simply Health on 9889 5886 or check out our website at www.simplyhealth.com.au

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The team at Simply Health are delighted to be a new sponsor for ELSC. Our practice includes experienced Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Clinical Exercise and Massage professionals. We have been established for over 20 years providing quality care to the community of Camberwell and surrounding areas.

 

As a SPECIAL OFFER for players and families of Eastern Lions, you can receive $50 off your initial physiotherapy or chiropractic visit at Simply Health. Just mention you are from ELFC to redeem your discount. Call 03 9889 5886

 

Physiotherapy

 

Physiotherapy helps you recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness, increase mobility and prevent further injury. They do this through manual therapy, exercise and advice.

 

In addition to the hands-on therapy, we use our practice gym to demonstrate and implement rehab programs. We use an app-based program called Physitrack, which loads videos of your program to your mobile device, so you can easily perform your exercises at home. This also tracks your progress over time and is a great way to monitor your health and performance goals.

 

Mitch Casey 

 

Many of you would have already met our Phyiso, Mitch Casey, who has been performing pre-injury screenings with players over the last few weeks.

Mitch completed his Doctor of Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Science degrees at the University of Melbourne in 2016. Mitch has extensive knowledge in strength and conditioning as well as yoga practices and integrates these into his assessments and robust rehabilitation programs.

Outside of being a physio, Mitch likes hanging out in gyms, playing with his 40kg German Shepherd, watching all things sport, travelling, hiking and spearfishing.

Chiropractic

Chiropractors study for a minimum of 5 years university training and are government regulated health professionals.

Chiropractic is a natural form of health care that focuses on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system and how that relationship affects our health. Using gentle and specific spinal adjustments and other manual and soft tissue techniques, chiropractic corrects misalignments of the joints, improves muscle tone and stimulates nerve activity. This has been shown to reduce pain and improve spinal function.

 

Clare Halpin

Clare graduated from RMIT with a double bachelor’s degree in Health Science and Applied Science. She received the Chiropractic Research award in her final year, and in 2020 went on to complete her honours degree focusing on chronic pain. Clare has also worked with various local sporting clubs focusing on injury management and prevention.

When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her dog Finn and her friends and family.

Remember: $50 discount SPECIAL OFFER for players and families of Eastern Lions, off your first consultation!

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