AFL, or Aussie rules, is well known for its high incidence of sports injuries. There is a significant amount of physical contact, however unlike rugby union or gridiron, no protective padding is worn.
At Spine Scan we are familiar with all kinds of sports injuries, and are used to treating everyone from the young players through to the weekend warriors and the elite athletes. If you are suffering from a sporting injury, don’t suffer in pain. Call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.
The most commonly encountered AFL injury is the hamstring strain. The hamstring strain is common in sports that require kicking, rapid acceleration and agility. Depending on the severity, strains are classified as first, second or third grade. The grade of injury will significantly determine treatment and prognosis, and in some cases surgery may be required.
It is recognized that hamstring injuries often have a complex causes that involves many factors predisposing an individual to injury. These often include:
- Muscle strength imbalances
- Inadequate warm up
- Collision and other forms of trauma
It is important to manage hamstring strains before they occur, as once you’ve torn your muscles they are prone to re-injury. At Spine Scan, we can help create a personal strengthening and stretching program to correct any imbalances you may have and minimize your risk of injury.
Dr Adam Rocchi, the Chiro at Spine Scan, also uses a neurological treatment system called Trigenics, which specifically addresses muscle imbalances. This, in conjunction with his computerized analysis and treatment system of the spine, can improve muscle function to reduce the chances of causing an injury in the first place or heal injuries faster once they’ve occurred.
If you do suffer a hamstring injury, the immediate protocol is to apply the old “RICER”. This stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation and repeat/referral. How long you should ice for remains contentious, however it is often recommended to ice for between 8-10 minutes. You may have to repeat the icing every hour for the first 24 hours or so. If there is continual pain or you have trouble weight bearing referral is recommended. See your primary health care practitioner for further management.
Knee injuries are also common. ACL sprains, meniscus tears, patellofemoral pain syndrome, patella tendonitis and ITB syndrome are all common knee injuries encountered by AFL players. The “terrible triad” is also common, and occurs when there is significant trauma to the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and medial meniscus all at once.
The mechanism for knee injuries that have not had direct trauma is very similar to those of hamstring injuries. Many injuries due to overuse or micro trauma can be prevented with an adequate neuromuscular screening process that Spine Scan offers and a training regime that is relevant to the athlete.
Osteitis pubis is another condition that may affect AFL players. It is a painful overuse injury of the pubic symphysis, the fibrocartilaginous joint that connects the two pelvic bones at the front of the pelvis, just beneath where you would wear your belt. It commonly occurs in kicking sports.
Although the exact pathogenesis remains unknown, current theories suggest that it may be due to excessive strain of the abdominal muscles (commonly due to the iliopsoas being inhibited), or due to a problem with the sacroiliac joints at the back of the pelvis. Typical treatment techniques may take anywhere up to 2 years. A preventative approach is preferred through periodic neuromuscular checks and treatment to address inhibition.
If you want to know more about how we may be able to help minimize your risk of an injury this AFL season, call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.