Physiotherapy for Footballers

Football is an extremely popular high speed contact sport, enjoyed by millions worldwide. Unfortunately the risk of injury with football is high and is often the result of a traumatic event, for example, colliding with another player or falling awkwardly after jumping for a ball. Injuries can also be caused over a period of time as the ongoing stresses and strains of the game take their toll on the body. Continuing to play with a slight niggle or ache often leads to a more serious injury that will require more intensive attention.

The aim of physiotherapy is to treat and fully rehabilitate the player in order to prevent further injury and to return the player to training in the shortest possible time.

Our Physiotherapists at PhysioQinetics will work with you to achieve the following:

1. To diagnose the injury and the possible cause giving advice on rehabilitation times
2. To promote healing of the injured tissues and to control the inflammation and pain
3. To thoroughly rehabilitate the injury restoring full flexibility, strength, balance & proprioception and correcting any muscle imbalances that may have developed
4. To discuss strategies to reduce recurrence of the injury

If proper management is not undertaken, you may return to playing too soon despite instability, proprioceptive disturbance, muscle tightness and muscle weakness. This will greatly enhance the risk of prolonged pain and increase the chance of re-injury. Your performance will also be impaired for the entire time that you are not correctly rehabilitated.

Common Football Injuries
Most football injuries affect the lower part of the body. The groin, pelvis, hip and thigh, knee, calf and foot & ankle are the sites most commonly affected.

The most common football injuries are:

Ankle sprain

An ankle sprain refers to damage to the soft tissue (mainly ligaments) around the ankle and is usually caused when the ankle is twisted inwards. This injury is usually caused by twisting the ankle playing on uneven ground or from the impact of a direct tackle. The ligament on the outside of the foot is the most commonly affected. With an ankle sprain you often experience ankle swelling and pain especially with weight bearing and twisting movements of the foot.

Hamstring strain

A hamstring injury usually occurs when the hamstring muscle is forcibly stretched beyond its limits and the muscle tissue becomes torn. This typically occurs during sprinting activities. The degree of strain or ‘tear’ is classified according to the severity as a grade I, II or III. As the hamstring muscles work over both the hip and knee joint they can also become susceptible to injury due to overuse and fatigue.

Knee Ligament Injuries

e.g Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear
An anterior cruciate ligament tear is common in football due to the repetitive changes in direction and sudden turns. The ACL is a deep ligament that joins the thigh bone to the shin bone. The role of this ligament is to prevent excessive forward movement of the shin in relation to the thigh and also to prevent too much rotation at the knee joint. The ACL, with the other ligaments, also has a crucial role in maintaining joint stability. Injury to the ACL often occurs from landing from a jump onto a bent knee then twisting, or from landing on an overextended knee. Damage can also occur with direct contact to the knee from another player.
e.g Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain
This inside ligament of the knee joins the thigh bone to the shin bone. Its primary role, as well as providing stability to the knee, is to support the inside of the joint. This ligament is therefore usually injured when the outside of the knee joint is struck. This impact causes the outside of the knee to buckle, and the inside to stretch. This is common during ‘clipping’ in football. This can be a cumulative effect with ongoing stresses or by a sudden greater impact.

Knee Cartilage Tear

A tear in the cartilage of the knee is a fairly common in football caused by a forceful twist. The cartilage damaged is actually one of the two menisci within the joint. As the knee joint bends the thigh bone should roll, spin and glide on the top surface of the shin bone. If there is a rotation caused by a twist whilst the joint is bearing weight then the menisci can get jammed between the two bones. Depending upon the force, a tear may occur.


Hernia’s and groin pain are common in football due to the stresses to the pelvic region through kicking, sprinting and turning. The two most common conditions of the pelvis to affect footballers are an Inguinal hernia and Gilmores groin (sports hernia). If you have a hernia you will typically have pain and stiffness in the groin area after a game where activities such as getting out of the car or the bed are painful. You may also notice a small lump or protrusion in your groin.

Bell’s palsy - one of our many successful stories with acupuncture

We recently received enquiry from a young lady called Miss Y who suffered from new onset Bell’s palsy which resulted in paralysis of half of her face due to facial nerve dysfunction. This is medically known as 7th cranial nerve lower motor neurone palsy, which is often of unknown cause.

Her GP prescribed her a course of steroid medication which is in accordance with the latest medical evidence but she showed little improvement after 10 days of using her prescribed steroid. Time is really the essence here as if she does not improve within the first 3 weeks, then she has as high as 70% chance of permanent facial paralysis.

One can only imagine the distress this may have caused this young lady with half of her face paralysed.

She called us and we immediately arranged intensive therapy sessions using a strategy of combining acupuncture and specialist facial massage on specific acupuncture points. We also taught her special facial exercises to stimulate her facial nerve and muscles.

Within 2 weeks, she noticed remarkable recovery and this is what Miss Y has to say:

I will definitely recommend this clinic. My physiotherapist is highly professional, very friendly and careful. I had an unusual problem, but here I got a professional help. My physiotherapist suggested me a good treatment including massage and acupuncture. I'm very happy with the result. 5 stars out of 5”.

If you suffer from Bell’s palsy, don’t just risk waiting, contact us now to arrange our intensive treatment sessions to maximise your chance of any recovery!

Cupping therapy for back pain and fibromyalgia

Cupping is a very effective and safe treatment for back pain and fibromyalgia. Cupping is able to loosen stiff muscles, unblock pinched nerves, and unbind Muscle knots.

A small fire is inserted into a glass cup which creates a vacuum. The cup is quickly placed onto the patient's back, shoulders, hips or legs. The cup instantly pulls on the muscles and tissues up into the cup.

This suction draws the blood to the surface and helps to relax tight and bound muscle tissue.

The theory behind cupping is that it moves or stimulates your body's natural energy — also called Qi.

Cupping is used together with Acupuncture and Massage therapy to increase the muscle relaxing and pain relieving effects of each of these treatments. When used together, these three treatment therapies provide powerful pain relief and loosening of tight and bound up muscle tissues which could be causing you pain and pulling your spine out of alignment.

Cupping, massage, and acupuncture work wonderfully in adjunct with physiotherapy treatment. Cupping will tend to leave a circular mark which should last about 3 to 5 days. Cupping is not painful. It feels like a really good deep tissue massage, unwinding deep knots in your muscles.

In alternative medicine, pain is believed to be caused by problems relating to your Qi flow. This can be related to stress in the body, imbalances of hormones and fluids, lack of blood flow, and temperature in the muscles and joints. When a suction cup is place on a problem area, the vacuum pull of the cup creates warmth and circulation in the area. Very soon, you will feel that the pain is reduced.

Acupuncture for pain relief

Many people are often a little bit wary of acupuncture as they’re concerned about the idea of needles sticking into them. However, it’s a really beneficial treatment and has many uses. Acupuncture is commonly used to help treat musculoskeletal conditions (which mean conditions relating to bone and muscle), examples such as arthritis, joint and muscular pains, tennis elbow, neck pain, the list is endless. Lower back pain is a very popular reason for seeking acupuncture. Acupuncture for lower back pain is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the current guidelines.

Acupuncture for pain management has been used for centuries. It is a powerful and natural treatment.

The needles stimulate points on your body that release endorphins and other natural pain relievers. They also, according to research, increase the electromagnetic signals between the different cells in your body, increases blood circulation to different parts of your body and relaxes your muscles. It helps to encourage healing, relieve pain and promote emotional well-being.

Research study findings published in Brain Research, suggest acupuncture has a significant effect on specific nerve structures and it has been found that acupuncture switches off areas within the brain that are associated with the processing of pain.

Overall, there are many ways in which acupuncture can help relieve pain. So if you are interested, contact PhysioQinetics to book your session here

Pilates to help reduce low back pain

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems reported around the world. It is estimated that 85% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Those most at risk of developing back pain are people who are overweight or inactive; who spend a lot of time sitting at work; or whose jobs require them to lift, twist and bend. Once you experience back pain once, you are likely to experience it again in your life. The most common cause is poor posture and body mechanics in the workplace.

People with low back pain tend to have weaker lower back stability muscles. The deep abdominal muscles are responsible for providing stability to the lower back and therefore preventing pain and injury. Retraining and strengthening this muscle has been proven to decrease pain and improve function. The Pilates method is based around developing awareness and activation of the deeper core muscles, therefore helping in reducing and preventing back pain. There is extensive research that supports the effectiveness of Pilates exercise for low-back pain.

Our Pilates classes at PhysioQinetics are small (max of 4 participants) and this will ensure you get the individual attention and feedback that is required in this form of exercise. Interested? Book your session with us now