The Premier League is one of the world’s most exciting and challenging leagues, with some of the most exciting players on the planet coming to ply their trade in front of millions the world over. As with any sport, players push their bodies harder and harder in a bid to succeed and help their club to success.
Championships are won and lost by the players on the field, with clubs knowing the importance of keeping their squad fit and healthy and free from football injuries. We have all heard complaints from teams with multiple injuries and small squads, but injuries to several key players can transform a team from one challenging for glory to one battling for survival.
The Premier League is one of the richest leagues in the world, with relegation costing as much as £40 million and whilst there are now parachute payments to help financially with entering the Championship it is a huge loss financially to a club and a huge loss of pride to the club, players and fans.
Each sport has its own potential injuries to overcome, with football being no different. Here is a list of the most common types of football injuries faced by players, from ankle injuries to hamstring injuries.
Foot injuries are probably one of the more publicised forms of football injuries to occur and typically involve the metatarsal. Injuries relating the metatarsal typically result from trauma, whether the impact is sustained by accident or as a result of a challenge. Biomechanical imbalances can also lead to metatarsal injuries.
Knee injuries can range in their severity and the length of recovery time required, from just a few days to a few months and more. The majority of knee injuries are as a result of ligament damage, with the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) being the main culprit. The ligaments are the tough bands of tissue connecting the bones within the joint and are responsible for stabilisation.
In considering football injuries the majority of knee injuries are self-limiting, with straight forward sprains taking a few days to heal following rest and using ice to manage any inflammation. These can occur as a result of a player turning and getting their leg caught in the turf or following a challenge or awkward landing.
In more serious cases the ACL can be ruptured or torn, which will not only be very painful but affect the overall stability of the joint and make walking very difficult, let alone running. An ACL rupture is one of the most serious football injuries you can encounter and can require surgery to repair the ligaments. Following surgery an extensive period of physiotherapy will be required to strengthen the joint before a player can even consider getting back onto the football pitch.
Ankle injuries are common in all high active sports, from football to tennis, with a player required to turn and pivot on their ankle at speed. When you do this repeatedly you increase the risk of injury with the joint potentially rolling and causing damage to the ligaments as they are overstretched.
As with knee injuries, ankle injuries affect the joint ligaments with the injury ranging in its severity and recovery time. A straight forward sprain can stop you from continuing the match but after a few days of rest you should be back on your feet and ready for action once again.
As well as injuries following slips or trips on the pitch there is also the risk of injury from challenges. A heavy challenge or an awkward landing can impact on the ankle joint leading to injury and take you out of the game. Whilst many players wear shin pads with ankle joint protectors to help against impact, they offer little support in stabilising the ankle joint and preventing it from rolling.
A rupture or tear to the ligaments is one of the more serious forms of ankle injuries, affecting your ability to walk and can require surgery. As with knee injuries, surgery of this type will involve a lengthy spell on the sidelines before a player is able to begin training once again.
It is difficult to protect against ankle injuries as there are many outside influences in that of the pitch and other players, but what you can do is limit the damage caused by stopping following an injury. Carrying on playing, no matter how important, can cause more damage.