Don’t be fooled by our meek, wet start to summer – days are getting longer and the ringing of cicadas is coming, which can only mean one thing – footy preseason is upon us! After a short break between seasons, its time to grab those shoes and get to it again.

Avoiding injury during preseason

One of the most common injuries we see during the preseason is an ankle sprain. This generally occurs through stretching the ligament on the side of your ankle beyond capacity.  This can be due to a sudden change in position with foot planted or, more commonly, through falling under your feet.  Risks for an ankle sprain may involve poor flexibility, strength imbalances, inadequate warm up, previous injury and poor shoe-ware.  (And lets not forget re-learning to keep your eyes peeled for an incoming side swipe or tackle!)

To help decrease your chances of sprain, don’t roll into training and instantly punt the footy as hard as possible – what a shock to your body! Instead, ensure you begin with a dynamic (movement based) warm up and gradually ease into training, particularly in that first session.

As the weather gets warmer our ovals dry out and become very firm, adding extra impact through our ankles, knees and beyond. Be sure to ask Santa for some new sneakers this Christmas – supportive shoe ware with plenty of cushioning will be ideal to take away some of the impact of that dry oval.  And, of course finishing up with your warm down and static/stationary stretching to avoid falling victim of the dreaded “DOMS“ (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

An Osteopath can help you identify and manage strength imbalances, poor flexibility and other contributing factors in a thorough case history and physical examination. Should you have susceptibility / recurring ankle strain history, book in for a personally tailored strength and conditioning programme to get you ready for the oncoming season!  See your Osteopath at Blackburn Osteopathy for more information, strengthening programmes and injury prevention advice!