As you ramp up your pre-season training and begin the new football season you may find yourself more susceptible to injuries than usual. This can be due to a lack of fitness, strength and conditioning or even an old injury that was never properly treated at the time and has been lying dormant throughout the off-season.
So, in the interest of protecting your body from injuries, new and old, and giving yourself the best chance of dominating on the pitch, it’s a good idea to see your physio for a comprehensive assessment, known as a full body MOT, which then provides you with the option of having a personalised pre-season training plan created for you.
What does a full body MOT include?
A full body MOT is a comprehensive and personalised assessment to give us, as physios, a deep understanding of any areas of your body that might be under strain as a result of your lifestyle and activities. Think of it as the ultimate prehab, designed to give you preventative maintenance to help you stay at the top of your game!
To start with, we’ll ask you a range of specific questions to help us gain knowledge of how your body is functioning, which is where you’ll be able to highlight any areas of injury or niggles that could become an injury in the future if left untreated.
From here, we’ll move on to a thorough physical assessment, which can include anything from postural analysis, to movement and strength testing, or functional activities such as gait analysis.
If we know that you are training for something specific, such as the beginning of the football season, we will focus on areas of the body that are utilised most in that specific activity.
Even if you aren’t feeling any pain or weakness at the moment (which is great news), it’s always helpful to gain an understanding of areas that you can strengthen even more, to take you from good to great in your field.
Common areas of focus for football players
When you’re coming back to football training after the off-season (and possibly a lack of activity over the warmer summer months!) it can sometimes be tricky to tell the difference between ‘good pain’ (when your coach has pushed you to your maximum current fitness limit) and ‘bad pain’ that could be the start of an injury. We can help you identify the difference between these two and make sure you understand how to read your body correctly, to avoid ‘bad pain’ both during and after training.
For goalkeepers, common problem areas can often include your upper limbs due to overreaching and sharp movements. And all football players can be vulnerable to lower body injuries caused by sudden direction changes and pushing off from the ground quickly – from your groin, right down to your ankles.
In our treatment, we can focus on a broad region of the body or a more specific area, such as a shoulder or knee ligament. These decisions will always be based on both your feedback, and areas we identify as potential injury zones in your full body MOT.
How we can help you prevent injuries
Generally speaking, most injury prevention treatments revolve around either strengthening the areas that are weak and loosening the areas that are tight. We can do this in a number of ways.
Guided exercise therapy is one option, which involves using the specialised gym equipment in our London clinic to follow an exercise programme that we’ve carefully tailored for you to help you achieve your goals. This could include a combination of strength-based, bodyweight, cardiorespiratory and balance training, under the watchful eye of your qualified physician who will ensure you get the most out of the programme.
Deep tissue massage can also be a useful treatment to prevent postural aches and pains, especially if in between football training sessions you spend a lot of time sitting stationary at a desk! Not only does deep tissue massage help with injury-prevention, but it also has the added benefit of helping you recover more quickly from training sessions, so you can get back out there faster at full capacity.
But ultimately, the results of your full body MOT, injury-history and individual goals will impact the personalised treatment plan we devise for you.
Are you in the throes of pre-season football training, or just starting the new season? Why not come in for a full body MOT and make sure you’re set to avoid injuries on the field?
Book an appointment online or give us a call on 020 3978 9999 today.