The Physios Hat is a series of simplified short blogs on various aspects of my work with Burgess Hill FC mens 1st team. The name came about after a fan suggested to myself that we wouldn’t win unless I wore my wolly bobble hat… low and behold we ended up winning the season in 2015 and the name stuck.
The Physio’s Hat is usually published in the Burgess Hill FC home programmes but in case you missed them they are listed here. I try to relate them directly to the players so that the supporters can see why one of their favourite players may have of not been on field and keep the language simple as it can be quite confusing to understand.
To keep up to date with the boys progress visit the Burgess Hill Website http://bhtfc.co.uk
The Physio’s Hat
By Danielle Peters
This is the first of hopefully many instalments of the Physio’s Hat, I’m the current first team’s Sports Therapist at BHTFC and I get to deal with all the injuries at the club, some not so glamorous as others but I do love my job. In these articles I hope to inspire and possibly educate everyone in simple terms about injuries with some insight to how the boys are coping with their’s.
Lateral Ankle Sprains.
So, as some of you who visited the Leatherhead home game, our Scott went down on pitch and I had to run on for a potential fracture. Luckily he went and got it x-rayed and it was confirmed that it was purely soft tissue and just his ligaments. This is the most common type of injury to occur in sports and unfortunately as most who have done it once already would say, it’s easy to do again! Especially if the right rehabilitation hasn’t occurred.
So what is it?
In the lateral part of your ankle (the outside of the foot) you have 3 main ligaments that support the foot at the ankle joint. Usually how you damage them is by turning your foot inwards and pointing it downwards (plantar flexion and inversion if you want the fancy terminology). However other movements can also cause the same damage. Severity (see the photo below) is graded 1-3 with 1 being a few fibres torn and 3 being a complete tear.
What to do?
Ankles like to bruise and swell. Scott has some lovely bruising all along his foot and up his calf. But don’t panic this is normal and its what they do, more importantly its how the body heals itself so its an important process. But there are some steps you can take to help it heal quickly and minimise this reaction. Below I’ve put a simple guide on the initial treatment you can do at home called ‘RICE’.
Rest- as it says on the tin… rest your foot. This is not an excuse to lie on the sofa all day as light movement is good to keep it strong but try not to overly weight bear or go running for at least a week.
Ice- with the ankle getting inflamed it will get hot. It’s really important to apply ice for 15-20minutes with an hour off in-between. Applying ice for more than 20 minutes is scientifically proven to not have any more affect and also make sure its not applied directly to skin. Use a bag or cloth to avoid burns.
Compression- don’t cut off the circulation but if there is no room for he swelling it makes life easier. An easy way to do this is to wear two thick socks like football socks over each other on the one foot.
Elevate- As you stand up gravity will take its toll and it makes it difficult for the swelling to disappear. Try and keep it elevated as much as possible especially at night-time to help. If you struggle with a pillow under your foot at night try raising your mattress with some old yellow pages/ textbooks.
You can also use anti-inflammatories to help, please speak to your GP first before taking any medication.
Physio- Go see a Physiotherapist/ Sports Therapist or someone who can help with musculoskeletal injuries. They will be able to provide you exercises and guide you through the best treatment possible to help heal the injury and also prevent further occurrences.
How Long Does it Take to Heal?
This really depends on the severity and treatment; usually it is around 4-6 weeks but will require long-term exercises and rehabilitation to stop further occurrences. At current I have Scott on a wobble board getting the strength back in his foot and have started him running again with strapping on his foot for protection so hopefully he should be back playing early in the new year.
Hope you enjoyed a brief insight into lateral ankle sprains and for any treatment or advise please feel free to contact myself through the club on facebook or through twitter.
The Physio’s Hat
By Danielle Peters
For the second instalment of the Physio’s hat I will be going into Hamstring Tears (back of your thigh muscle group). This is something that will affect a lot of athletes at some point in their life with around 12% of football players experiencing it during the season. However it’s not the initial occurrence that is the issue. Hamstrings have a really high recurrence rate of approximately 20-33% (Tyler et al., 2014), which means if you’ve done it once, without proper care and rest you are likely to reinjure it again.
Hamstring Strain/ Tears
Often when a player experiences a sudden tear in the muscle it can feel like almost being shot in the back of the leg and is very painful. As with the ankle the level of injury can be graded 1-3 with severity.
So around 6 weeks ago Callum had presented with some discomfort in his hamstrings and following some sprinting drills experienced a sharp pain in the area. This was part of an old injury that prior to joining burgess hill had not been fully addressed or recovered in a rehabilitation program.
What to Do?
I pulled Callum from play for 3 weeks so that I could do a full rehabilitation programme with him to end his constant battle with his hamstrings. Initially, we had to ice bath it following the sprints to decrease inflammation. Following this in treatment he underwent; ultrasound for assisting the repair and massage, including friction massage, which breaks down scar tissue (and he will tell you is not a fun experience). So when it healed the muscle fibres were all in alignment (imagine it like brushing out knotty hair).
After this we had to get him back to sport, Callum had to do extensive rehab exercises including ‘Bridging’ and others focusing on his core muscles, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. He then had to learn to run again. Sounds bizarre, but after an injury often you can loose confidence in fear of reoccurrence. So we did a lot of work on running, then sprinting and if you look closely you will see some blue kinesio tape on his right hamstring which helps support his muscle as a precaution (although now healed) and he will probably have this until the end of season.
Hope you enjoyed a brief insight into Hamstring tears and for any treatment or advise please feel free to contact myself through the club on facebook or through twitter.