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Recovery from the soccer season: Signs you may need Physiotherapy
With the soccer season well and truly over, many players cast their body woe’s aside, pledging to pick them up again before next season. Learn why NOW is the best time to fix those last season injuries and ensure they don’t come back to haunt you in 2019!
By now most of your bruises, aches and pains should have subsided! Any acute swelling should have gone down and what you might be left with is a body that’s feeling reasonably good in comparison to the post game soreness of the last few months. However, that little niggle on your ankle, the pinch in your groin and the ache in your lower back are signs that your body hasn’t fully recovered and rather than waiting for those compensations to rear their ugly heads next year, why not get on top of them now!
Physiotherapist – Lana Johnson, explains why “the off seasons is often a time when players don’t think too much about training, but it is in fact THE BEST time for injury rehabilitation and skill improvement!” By addressing any weakness in the biomechanical chain and the necessary compensation you developed to get you through the semi’s, you can ensure that next season your back on the field for longer, performing to your best!
The reason being, during the playing season, there is little room for technique correction, unloading and skill enhancement. This is because so much time is taken up by conditioning, team skill set’s, game day and recovery. The off season is the perfect time for picking apart your weaknesses and zeroing in on them to ensure your core strength is where it needs to be, your hamstrings are as mobile as they need to be and your ankle stability is on point!
Lana suggests the following exercises which she finds of benefit for many top soccer players in the down season, to ensure their game day ready when the next season rolls around!
- 1) Core Stability: it’s been a big buzz focus for the past few years, and for good reason. Soccer requires a lot of direction change under high speeds and all that agility comes at a necessary price. Good core control is essential on the field, and unfortunately is often over looked in a typical mid-season program. I find these following exercises great additions to your off-season protocol for reducing the risk of spine, pelvis and groin related injuries.
- a. Bridging: http://www.movebeautiful.com/topic/bridging/
- b. Side to Side: http://www.movebeautiful.com/topic/side-side-feet-off-floor/ :
- c. Femur Arcs: http://www.movebeautiful.com/topic/femur-arcs-2/
- 2) Hip Dissociation: all that kicking required can mean soccer players are able to dissociate their hips from their pelvis at high speeds and under high loads. We often see this element of training ignored in mid-season training programs which are heavily focussed on fitness and ball skills. The following exercises are a must in the off seasons to continue to ensure players are able to dissociate their hip mobility from their pelvis stability and ensure a great kicking game.
- a. Bent Knee Fall Out: http://www.movebeautiful.com/topic/bent-knee-fall-2/
- b. Arabesque: http://www.movebeautiful.com/topic/arabesque-2/
- 3) Lower Limb Strength and Agility: we all know soccer isn’t gentle on the lower limbs, ankles and knees in particular. While strength is an important requirement, the agility that is required of the feet, ankles, knees and hips in soccer is almost unparalleled. These exercises will keep you strong in the off season while ensuring your agility is not lost from too much concentric loading.
- a. Bulgarian Lunges: http://www.movebeautiful.com/topic/bulgarian-lunge/
- b. Split Squats: http://www.movebeautiful.com/topic/squats-and-split-squats/
If you have a niggle that hasn’t resolved by now it may well be worth while seeking out the advice of a Physiotherapist to determine if there is any lasting damage or biomechanical abnormalities they can be improved before next season! After all prevention, as always, is better than cure!
Are you finding your body ending up sore and in pain post workout? The post workout pain you're feeling could be a result of your body not getting the adequate recovery it needs. To get the most from each and every workout, you need to prioritize post-workout recovery. Recovery should be considered an essential part of your healthy lifestyle. Instead of just dealing with the fatigue and soreness, try these 6 tips to help your body feel better, faster.
Get more sleepGetting plenty of sleep and resting your body can be a very effective treatment. Sleeping gives your body the necessary downtime that it needs to restore itself. While you sleep, oxygen flows more readily to your muscles helping them heal. We suggest you get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Recovery MealIn the 15-60 minutes immediately following a workout, your muscles are primed to receive fuel to start the repair process. Eat, or drink your recovery meal right away, within the first half hour after the workout is complete.
Re hydrate and replace lost electrolytesDuring a workout you body sweats , trough sweat we lose electrolytes. Electrolytes control many functions of the body. By drinking plenty of water you help flush out toxins from your body and prevent dehydration, which can make muscle soreness even more painful. So it's very important to re-hydrate and replenish lost electrolytes in the body.
Epsom Salt BathEnjoying a warm/hot and relaxing 10-20 minute bath with 200-400 grams of Epsom salt, is a very simple and effective way to relax your muscles and decrease inflammation. It's also a good way to increase blood magnesium levels and prevent bloating due to excessive water retention.
MassageGetting a massage helps break up scar tissue and ease post-workout muscle soreness and improved blood circulation. There may be slight pain in having tight or tensed muscles worked on, but relaxation really is the key. You should feel comfortable and relaxed for your muscles to get the most benefit from the massage.
Foam roller or spiky ballsIf you're feeling pain or tightness post workout, try using a foam roller or spiky ball to give your muscles a massage and release tension. The rollers can help break up scar tissue and knotting, which if left unattended can lead to nagging aches and pains in your joints.