The AFLW season in now in full swing and the competition is starting to heat up. Last season there was a significant amount of injuries throughout with season ending ACL injuries topping the list. Injuries can often be worse at the amateur level and with those females just starting out in the sport. Inexperience and conditioning coupled with the difference in biomechanics between male and female players is the most likely cause of this spike in these lower limb injuries.
Avoiding injury in womens aussie rules football
There are a number of things females can do (both professional and amateur) to help avoid lower limb injury through the footy season:
Building and maintaining fitness – Be sure you are in good physical condition at the start of the season. During the off-season it is important to continue a balanced training program that incorporates cardio, strength training, and flexibility. If you are struggling for fitness at the start of the season, you must gradually increase your activity level and slowly build back up to a higher fitness level. Going too hard too soon is a surefire way to injuring yourself, potentially setting you back weeks.
Get your biomechanics checked – It is important not to ignore the biomechanical risk factors that may predispose you to injury to your lower limbs. If you are someone who finds that the injury cloud seems to follow around every year, it may be worth seeing a one of our sports podiatrists to have your feet and gait assessed. This can assist in identification and management of risk factors. Some management options may include; running shoe / football boot change, targeted strength programs and orthotics.
Warm up and down – Always take time to warm up and stretch before training or a game. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Some warm up ideas include jumping jacks, jogging, or dynamic stretches (e.g. side raises). Following a game or training session stretching is extremely beneficial. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles flexible. Be sure to stretch after each training practice to reduce your risk for injury.
Hydration – If you have not had enough fluids, your body will not be able to effectively cool itself through sweat. While you are exercising, break for an 8 oz. cup of water every 20 minutes.
If you are a womens AFL or aussie rules footballer and suffer from lower leg injuries then Melbourne Podiatrists and Orthotics can help. Our sports podiatrists can assess your lower limb injury concerns and give professional advice on the best way to treat it. Book yourself in for a podiatry appointment today.