Prevention, Treatment, Performance

Educational Videos from the FIFA Football Medical Network (@FIFAMedical): Techniques for football physiotherapists / trainers

Recently Justin (@backtoyourfeet) was asked to help make some short educational videos for the FIFA Football Medical Network with @DrMarkFulcher. Here is a collection of the videos that are available on FIFA Medical Networks Twitter page (@FIFAMedical).

This collection of videos demonstrate techniques physitherapists or medical staff use to manage footballers.

Taping, or strapping, can help reduce the risk of re-injury when returning to football, however the ankle still needs to be strong enough to withstand the forces that changing direction, tackling (or being tackled) or kicking produce. Therefore it is important to progress the return to sport appropriately, and only return to play when it is safe to do so. There are a number of different techniques that can be done depending on what has been injured around the ankle. Syndesmosis injuries are also known as ‘high ankle sprains’ and they tend to take longer to return to football than lateral ligament injuries. Be aware you can also get adverse reactions to taping such as skin reactions and some players may take more risks because they feel the tape will protect them.

The “Low Dye’ technique is used to support the arch of the foot and can be used to see if orthotics may be appropriate for players to reduce pain and improve their function. It can help players with midfoot pain or posterior heel pain. You can vary the technique to support different areas of the foot. Sometimes I use Fixumull or Dynafix to lock the tape off as it is more flexible than rigid tape.

Taping can also be used around the knee to help reduce pain associated with patallaefemoral pain (pain around the kneecap). You need to make sure the skin is clean and dry if you want the tape to stick. We use adhesive spray to help the tape stay attached during football, and have found that using elastic adhesive bandages can also help the tape stay on during training and games.

Thumb sprains are most often sustained by goalkeepers when making a save, but can be caused by falls, or when caught on opponents jerseys in outfield players but contact from the ball.

Players can injure themselves in many ways on the field. It is common for players to break their skin and bleed while on the pitch. In football, if blood is visible on a player or his apparel, he will be asked to leave the pitch until it has been cleaned, the bleeding stopped, and the dirty apparel changed. It is important to always be prepared to deal with blood on the pitch. I always wear gloves on both hands to protect myself and my players.

Although rare, it is important that serious medical conditions are managed well on the sideline. Recognising the signs and symptoms of serious medical conditions and knowing what to do in an emergency is important for all medical personnel involved in covering football teams.

It is important to understand how to do good quality CPR. At WSAFC, where Back To Your Feet Physiotherapy is based, we have 4 AED’s, and trained staff who know how to do good quality CPR.

Good quality CPR saves lives.

The following set of videos show tests that football physio’s and medical professionals use to help diagnose conditions or objectively measure changes and progress in conditions.

The Y-balance test can be used in the clinic to monitor athletes progress after they have had an injury, and can be used as a screening tool to highlight imbalances between limbs.

New Zealand has one of the highest incidences of asthmatics and so it is important to understand how to monitor their asthma.

If someone does have an asthma attack and they are struggling to use their inhaler then understanding how to help them using a spacer is important. At WSAFC we have spacers upstairs at the physio clinic.

With so many young players playing football, it is common for them to develop pain at their growth plates due to the combined load of growth and activities such as running, jumping and kicking on their skeletal system. Here are some common sites they develop pain.

Although most injuries happen in the lower limbs, payers can sustain upper limb injuries too. Shoulder relocations are best left to trained medical personnel. Here are a couple of techniques for relocating a dislocated shoulder.

Recovery strategies are important after trainings or games to ensure players can continue to perform. Nutrition is an important component as it helps to replace energy lost during exercise.

Justin was also involved as part of the World Wide Delphi Study into the design of the FIFA 11+ Goalkeeper Injury Prevention Warm-Up.