Osteopathy and Football
Everybody knows that football teams all have Physiotherapists to help players recover from injury.
Fewer people will be aware of the involvement of Osteopaths in the football world. Most of the ‘big’ clubs have an Osteopath that they work with or have worked with in the past.
I have seen many players from the local football clubs over the years and they don’t choose Osteopathy or Physiotherapy; most of the time, players see both. The players’ own preference will determine the level of involvement of the Osteopath and sometimes the head Physiotherapist will request input.
Physiotherapy is well known and widely accepted in sport, but including osteopathy as well opens up more treatment possibilities.
Footballers are all humans underneath. The major difference is that they put much larger forces through their bodies. Premier league footballers will run somewhere close to 10km in every game and whilst that isn’t constant, it can be high strain. Football teams can be involved in multiple competitions, they sometimes play more than once and that is a lot of running. Don’t forget, players will train most days in the week as well.
The faster a player runs, the higher the strain and the more minutes the player is on the pitch, the more they are at risk of injury. In today’s game, stronger, fitter, faster players play more football than ever before.
A football player involved in the game today will put as much strain through their body in their 20 year career as you or I might do in double that timespan. (No statistics available, only my estimation.)
Scope of Osteopathy
I have heard and observed over the years the common perception that osteopathy is ‘all about the back’. We do a lot of work on people’s backs, that is true but we treat the whole body. I often say “if it is human and it hurt’s, I will have a good chance at fixing the problem”.
As Osteopaths, we are experts in people and people’s bodies. We have a thorough grounding in the physics of the body; how it works and moves mechanically. We are also experts in understanding the chemistry within the body; how different substances affect how the body functions.
For example, a mechanical strain like a sprained ankle causes inflammation which is painful and alters function. The swelling takes up space, restricts movement and limits the circulation. Left alone, a sprain like this can lead to long-term stiffness and permanent reduced function.
Or, a strained muscle in the upper thigh can make you twist your leg to avoid the pain. This leg rotation might cause more strain in a different joint as it compensates, increasing recovery times.
Because of our unique understanding and training in how the body works, Osteopaths can provide valuable insight into the football world.
Does it Translate?
Treating high performance athletes including football players increases the osteopath’s awareness and understanding. We can see the effect of peak performance strain which gives us a better understanding of everyday injury.
As someone who does not put their body through the same kind of exercise or training as an elite player, you can still benefit from our involvement in sports.
The treatment and care you receive as a non-athlete is the same as if you were aiming for olympic gold or the premier league title. Our attention to detail is the same, the way we assess your body is the same and most of the treatment has a similar style. Even the cost is the same.
So if you are involved in professional football, amateur sports or just live a sedentary life, you know you are in expert hands. The same hands that will have kept some of our national heroes (and other international players) on the pitch.
Quick… book an appointment before you suffer with that pain any longer.