With people coming back to community sport after a long hiatus due to pandemic lockdowns, injuries are on the rise.
Injuries to the knee, hamstring and ankle are most common to football and netball player due to high impact , twisting and turning required in these sports. These injuries can be debilitating as they impact not only sport but also daily activity such as walking and driving , and therefore quality of life. Injuries of the fingers, wrist, hand and shoulders also commonly occur in netball.
The following are ways to reduce injury:
- Adequate warm up
- Post match recovery including cool down, nutrition, hydration and rest
- Appropriate clothing and footwear. Shoes are particularly important.
- Skills training, particularly jumping and landing drills
- Using protective equipment such as eyewear, mouthguards, wrist/ knee/ elbow/ shin guards, paddings, helmets, tapes and braces.
- Checking the sporting environment for slippery surfaces or trip hazards.
- Stretching before and after exercising.
- Keeping hydrated.
- Supporting existing injuries
- Strapping knees and ankles to prevent injury to joints.
Additionally , it is important to play by the rules and the expected standards of fair play, have a philosophy and consistent approach towards injury prevention- including following a structured injury prevention program- , not playing when unwell, and being aware of adverse environmental conditions such as extreme heat & humidity, high pollen counts or low air quality.
It is important to consult a medical professional for acute or chronic injury concerns. When you know something is wrong, do not ignore it. Early intervention can be important in achieving a full recovery.
Football Australia has a suite of useful (and free!) injury prevention, warm up and performance resources designed to assist players at all levels of the sport to reduce their risk of injury. These can be found at the following link:
Here are some exercises you can do on the field, with no equipment: