23 August 2016 Comments Off on Injuries in Australian Football League

Injuries in Australian Football League

aflAustralian rules football, or AFL, is known for the amount of sports injuries it often causes. It is considered a high contact sport, however unlike some of its relatives such as ruby union or gridiron, very little, if any, protective gear is commonly worn.

At SpineScan we see all kinds of injuries. Not only do we treat elite-level athletes, we often see a lot of tiny tots right through to the weekend warriors who have overdone it on the sports field. If we may be able to help you, call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.

The most common injury in AFL is the hamstring strain. This is commonly encountered in sports that involve a lot of kicking or constant rapid changes of direction. Hamstring strains are classified as first, second or third grade depending on the degree of injury. The grade will determine management and prognosis. In some severe cases, surgery may even be recommended.

Injuries to the hamstrings often involve multiple factors. These include:
• Muscle dysfunctions
• Poor flexibility
• A poor warm up
• Getting tired and not using your stability muscles correctly
• Over-exertion
• A collision with another player and other forms of injury

What we do know is that once you’ve torn your muscle, they become weaker and are at risk of re-injury. Thus, it is crucial to have a good strengthening and stretching program in place before you suffer injury, to help minimize your chances of something going wrong. At SpineScan, we will tailor an individual program that is exactly for your needs.

If you do pull your hamstring, the immediate thing to do is RICER. This stands for:
• Rest
• Ice
• Compression
• Elevation
• Repeat/referral

People still debate how long you should ice for, and if you should even ice at all! When you injure an ankle, it typically becomes swollen. This is the body’s attempt at healing the area. However, in many instances the amount of inflammation is too much- it actually contributes to the pain! Icing helps reduce the inflammation to minimize the pain. You should ice for between 8-10 minutes, and you may have to repeat every hour for the first 24 hours, although that also varies!If pain continues, or you still have trouble weight loading, referral is recommended. Go discuss your options with your primary health care practitioner.

Injuries to the knee are also commonly experienced by AFL players. These commonly include: ACL sprain, meniscus tears, patellofemoral pain syndrome, patella tendonitis and ITB syndrome. The terrible triad is particularly ominous, and involves damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and the medial meniscus all at the same time.

The mechanism of knee injury is much alike that of hamstring injuries. Many of these injuries can also avoided with an appropriate training plan.

So if you want to find out how you can minimize your chances of getting injuried this footy season, call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.

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