When sprinting it is possible to overwork the hamstring muscles and stretch them beyond their limits causing the muscle tissue to be torn or strained. This injury accounted for nearly 40% of Premiership injuries in 2004/5. You are less likely to sustain a hamstring strain with a proper warm up which allows your muscles to stretch without injury. The correct treatment for a hamstring strain follows the RICE treatment – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Depending on its severity, you may wish to consult a physiotherapist.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
Your ACL connects the thigh bone to the shin bone and is located within the knee joint. Non-contact tears and ruptures are the most common causes of ACL injury, such as landing on a bent knee and twisting, or landing on an over-extended knee. This injury can be diagnosed by an audible “pop” after impact, swelling and severe pain when bending the knee. You can prevent the risk of tearing your ACL by engaging in neuromuscular training designed to improve balance and muscle strength. In the aftermath of an ACL injury, it is important to seek the advice of an orthopaedic consultant and follow the PRICE treatment – protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation.
This injury occurs following a sudden sideways or twisting movement of the foot and is the most common orthopaedic problem. The sprain happens when the ligament supporting the ankle is stretched too far and severity varies from a partial to a complete tear. Taping and bracing the ankle can minimise the risk of sprain but if sustained it is advised to see a physiotherapist who can recommend exercises to improve ankle instability and function. If injured, follow the PRICE treatment.
A sports hernia causes a tear in the groin as opposed to a traditional hernia which creates a hole in the abdominal wall. Due to the activities of kicking, turning and sprinting, a player’s pelvis is subject to a lot of pressure triggering a sports hernia, or stiffness in the groin region. Core strength and stability exercises can strengthen pelvic muscles and will reduce the risk of developing a sports hernia. It is possible to play after sustaining a sports hernia but it should not be left untreated and specialist diagnosis is often required.
Knee cartilage tear
This injury is caused when the knee join rotates whilst bearing weight meaning the cartilage (meniscus) can get jammed between the thigh bone and the knee bone and tear. A slight tear is likely to heal itself but if more serious, the torn cartilage may interfere with the knee joint and should be assessed by a physiotherapist. In the worst of cases, surgery may be required. Strong hamstring and quadriceps muscles can help the knee joints deal with strain but there is little preventative action for this injury.
Due to the very nature of this sport, injuries are common. It is rare for an injury to require surgery but physiotherapy is often the best form of treatment and expensive medical costs may be incurred. Our personal accident and travel policies will cover these costs as well as any damage to a third party. Get a quote today so you can carry on playing worry-free.