Most of the players taking part in Euro 2016 arrived in France off the back of a long domestic football season, which means they should still be fit and more than ready to go!
Maintaining that fitness and remaining injury free will be key to success though, and a player picking up any type of injury at this stage will place their involvement in the tournament in serious doubt.
Euro 2016: Avoiding Injury in Football
Below we look at how to steer clear of the more common footballing injuries we see at Central Physio, and hope the advice helps regardless of whether you’re playing in Euro 2016 or simply looking forward to next season and turning out for your local Sunday League team!
Increasing and maintaining your flexibility through stretching helps maintain the length of your muscles, ligament and tendons. This reduces your chance of injury and also helps with the removal of post exercise waste toxins that can cause tension and the shortening of your muscles.
The tighter your muscles become the more likely you are to pull them and suffer injuries, such as muscle, tendon and ligament strains of varying grades, tears and higher level problems such as an avulsion injury (where the tendon attachment to the bone pulls a piece of bone off).
Dynamic stretching and mobility work, such as swinging your leg forwards and backwards and side to side, is recommended prior to training and actually playing in a match.
Static stretching is recommended at the end of training and after playing your match, usually holding your stretches for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Strength & Conditioning
A good strength & conditioning programme is very important to help develop and maintain your fitness levels, power and joint stability. This in turn can reduce injuries. A combination of low and high impact strengthening exercises prepare the body for the forces, such as twisting and turning, produced when playing football.
Your general levels of fitness also play a big part of injury prevention. The more tired you get the more likely you are to get injured. A good all round exercise/conditioning programme is recommended. Professional footballers will have good general strength and conditioning programmes supervised by specialist coaches. For the rest of us, it’s good to mix up your exercise regime to enhance your overall fitness and strength.
Your core strength can also help prevent injury, exercises like the plank can help strengthen your core.
The coloured taping you see on a lot of athletes, including players in Euro 2016 is Kinesiology tape. The taping is designed to improve alignment of the muscle fibres, support muscle firing and improve proprioception – helping to prevent injury and support rehabilitation post injury. Find out more
This helps keep muscles flexible and helps remove post exercise toxins that can build up and cause injury. Find out more
Players at Euro 2016 will be concentrating on all of the above in a bid to stay fit and avoid injury for the duration of the tournament. At this elite level, each player will have their own tailored fitness programme and structured post-match recovery schedule. All of this will be closely monitored by the team’s medical staff, who will utilise the very latest in sports science and technology.
Fortunately, the same levels of expertise, care and treatment delivered at elite level football can also be found at Central Physio. So if you are looking to make a difference and maintain improved performance throughout next season, please contact us now!