Despite generally being a safe and effective exercise, football injuries such as sprains and strains often occur.

These injuries include minor contusions (bruising a ligament, tendon, or muscle), sprains (stretching or tearing a ligament), and strains (stretching or tearing a muscle or tendon). Fractures (broken bones) are much less common but are more serious. They are caused by the stop-start nature of the game, hastily applied multi-directional high loads imposed on the body and the unpredictability of what other players may do. This means that footballers are predictably prone to all sorts of musculoskeletal injuries.

Footballers who lack flexibility have an increased incidence of injury. Previously injured players are at a higher risk to repeat the injury. The majority of injuries in football occur in the lower body, mostly to the knees and ankles. However, repeated or prolonged use (overuse) injuries are common problems, especially towards the end of a long and grueling season. These are the result of constant overloading of the body resulting in the inability of the relevant structure being able to perform its normal biomechanical duties.

Youth and adolescent footballers are most at risk for overuse injuries during times of rapid growth. Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is an adolescent overuse injury where the thigh muscle tendon attaches to the shin bone below the knee. This can become inflamed by repetitive running or jumping. An injury such as this should be treated osteopathically as soon as possible because it could lead to a complete separation of the tendon from the bone, which would then require surgery.

Sever’s disease is another common area of pain in the young football player (age 7 and older). It is inflammation of the growth plate of the heel bone (calcaneous). Other areas of inflammation of the growth plate can occur at the pelvic rim, the thigh muscle attachment to the hip, the hamstrings, and the groin muscles attachment to the pelvis.

Common adult football players overuse injuries include the damage to the Achilles tendon, the knee and the shin (shin splints, inside of lower leg). If left untreated these injuries could lead to tendon rupture.

Osteopathy helps ideally with football injuries.