Are You Ready For Soccer Season?

Are you participating in this year’s soccer competitions? With the easing of Covid-19 concerns and players eager to get back out onto the field, you may want to consider ways of limiting your risk of injury, ensuring you are able to play the entire season through.

Below are our top tips to help limit your risk of soccer related injuries, such as: bruising, sprains, strains, fractures and dislocations.

Warming Up & Cooling Down

Warming up before you play is an essential first step in limiting your risk of injury. Working all your major muscle groups for at least 10 minutes before you play, allows your body to gradually rev up your cardiovascular system and increase the blood flow to your muscles. This will allow your body to loosen your joints and prepare your body for physical activity.

With a proper warm-up, you can help reduce post physical activity muscle soreness and injury. Don’t forget to cool down! With all the blood pumping furiously from running, abruptly, stopping without a proper cool down can cause blood to pool in your lower extremities.

With a gradual cool down routine, you are allowing your body the time to lower your heart rate and regulate your blood flow. Without a proper cool down, the sudden stop in activity can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy or experience fainting.

Proper Protection & Techniques

With the proper personal protection in place, you can protect areas of your body more prone to injury. Proper shock absorbent shin guards, mouth guards and taping where required can all help in protecting you from injury. Also, following proper instruction on the correct techniques for kicking, heading and tackling can ensure you are not putting unnecessary strain on your body.

Know When To Stop

It can be imperative to know when your body needs a break. Pushing yourself to hard and past your limits, is ignoring your body’s signals that you need to take a break before you cause damage to yourself. When you start to feel like you are pushing yourself past your limits, take a much-needed break.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important, regardless of physical activity. Without proper hydration, your body won’t be able to perform at its peak. During physical activity, water becomes even more important to regulate your body and allow it to recover correctly. If you feel you are still dehydrated with plenty of water, try bringing a sports drink to the field to help replace your lost electrolytes.

While our above advice may help you to prevent injury this soccer season, it is not a guarantee. If you become injured or encounter pain during play, ensure to seek professional advice from your local physiotherapist. They will be able to help you identify your pain and provide the appropriate treatment for recovery.

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.