Effective Ways to Handle Shin Splints during Soccer Training

There are many different types of injuries and conditions that can result from the strenuous physical activity experienced during soccer training. One of the most common issues is that of shin splints. People who experience shin splints experience pain in the area of the leg that starts at the knee and extends down to the top of the foot area. The pain is often immense and is described as a "burning" pain. The muscles that are in this area of the leg, as well as the tendons, become damaged or overworked and cause the pain that is experienced. In this article, I will describe effective ways to handle shin splints during soccer training.

If you are participating in drills and other activities that are offered during soccer training and start to experience pain in the area of your shins, you should cease all activity and rest immediately. While many coaches and players on the team may encourage you to continue participating in the soccer training, do not do this. This can result in more severe damage than has already occurred. If you stop at the onset of pain, you are likely to recover more quickly and continue engaging in soccer training. If you continue practice after the pain begins, you may not be able to continue in the soccer training activities.

If you have access to an ice pack and an ace bandage, it is important to implement the use of these items on the shins as soon as you are able to. Simply take off the shin guard that you were using during soccer training exercises and place the ice pack on the area that is the most painful. You should then take the ace bandage and wrap it around the part of the leg where the ice pack is located. You should allow the bandage to remain on the leg for up to thirty minutes to see if it helps to soothe the pain that you are experiencing.

While the ice pack is on your leg, you should find a nearby bench to rest on. You may choose to lie down on your back and elevate your leg that is experiencing pain. You could take a soccer ball or a cone to place underneath your leg. This will ensure that it is properly elevated. This is a great way to relieve any tension that the leg that is hurting may otherwise be subjected to.

Once you are sure that you have shin splints, you should allow your leg to rest for a few days before trying to participate in soccer training exercises. This will allow the body time to properly repair itself. Once you are ready to start soccer training again, it is extremely important that you practice warm up stretches and exercises in order to prepare your muscles for the physical activity. If you feel your leg hurting during the warm up exercises, this indicates that it may require additional rest. It is imperative that you pay special attention to the clues that your body gives you, or you could experience a more serious issue such as muscle strain or even a sprain in the area.

 

Patella Tendinopathy and Injuries

The basic function of the patella tendon is to transfer force of the quadriceps muscles; which causes the extension of the knee. The quadricepses are the muscles that are most active during the running and kicking of the ball in football.

Patella Tendinopathy is degeneration of the tendon (tendonsis). A breakdown of the tendon is characterized by focal lesions which are small and do not have an inflammatory response. Degeneration is when the tendon isn’t processing its normal tensile strength and could rupture if you continue with sporting activities. Patella Tendinopathy is also associated with aging. Some contributing factors are; joint stiffness, muscle tightness, muscle weakness, poor pelvic stability, inappropriate or excessive training, inadequate warm up and inappropriate footwear.

Some of the signs and symptoms of patella Tendinopathy are coming on gradually: pain in the tendon, worsened by activity, focal areas are tender, tendon is very stiff first thing in the morning, and the tendon may appear thickened in comparison to an unaffected area, the pain will be in the front of the knee, just below the kneecap. It commonly occurs from too much activity, repetitive or prolonged strain on the tendon. For less severe cases, you may only notice an ache or stiffness in your knee that worsens with rest following any activity that requires strong or repetitive contractions of the quadriceps muscles. Some of these activities include hopping, squatting, jumping, kicking, or climbing stairs.

The treatment for Patella Tendinopathy varies from case to case but includes ice for analgesia (do not put directly on the skin), rest from any sporting activities for at least three months, eccentric muscle work; referring to a muscle which is lengthening while contracting. In persistent cases, they will recommend an injection of Aprotinin. If the condition has not gotten better within a six-month period, your doctor may discuss surgery with you. Use surgery only as a last resort because even that is not going to be 100% effective. Treatment may comprise of soft tissue massage, ultrasound, stretches, use of crutches, joint mobilization, exercises, and education. Rehabilitation will be necessary after surgery and may take many months to accomplish.

There are rules to prevent Patella Tendinopathy so follow these: the intensity, frequency, and duration of training have to be carefully monitored with only gradual progression. Any sudden increases should be avoided. Flexibility and muscle strength has to be maintained with regular strengthening sessions. You have to wear the correct footwear and make sure that the surface is appropriate with the sport you are practicing.

If you begin having aches and pains in the knee area as described above, please make sure you visit your doctor and have some testing done. The sooner you are diagnosed and start treatment or rehabilitation the quicker you will be able to heal and resume normal activity.

Achilles tendon and Footwear

Achilles tendon is a tendon in the back of the leg, also known as calcaneal tendon or tendo calcaneus. The tendon is located in the area of the ankle, behind it. This tendon is the thickest and certainly the strongest tendon in your body. It measures approximately five point nine (5.9) inches long, beginning near the middle of your calf. The most common Achilles tendon injuries are an Achilles tendon rupture or Achilles tendonitis; inflammation of the tendon.
Believe it or not, the best way to avoid an Achilles tendon injury is to have the correct footwear. Footwear and the Achilles tendon are actually related in the following three ways: you have to correctly fit footwear that can prevent injuries, can help you recover from injuries and can help prevent injuries from coming back. If you have the wrong footwear, unfortunately, it can be a factor in having Achilles tendon issues and injury. They can also delay your recovery and it will increase the chance of reoccurrence.
When buying footwear you must match it to the person’s individual requirements. This includes the firmness, cushioning, height, heel height, and correct arch. If you end up with an injury to Achilles tendon, it likely means that you need to change your footwear.
Some people can get away with inexpensive and tiny fixes to their footwear; using arch support inserts or placing a piece of material under his heel to add cushioning. Other people can receive help by just wearing better shoes and/or sports shoes. There are people who have unique feet structure and they require custom-built shoe inserts also known as orthotics. Orthotics and specialized shoes could be very costly so if you have to, triple check that that is what you need so you are not overspending.
For a handful of unfortunate people, a brace might be required. The brace will be able to immobilize your foot after an Achilles tendon injury; one example can be the rupture of Achilles tendon. Braces that are to be used can be wrap devices that can provide a small amount of support helping in the immobilizing devices that are used to block flexing or prevent pointing of and then to further damage of the Achilles tendon.
Here are a couple of the guidelines to follow when finding sports shoes or regular everyday shoes to help prevent an Achilles tendon injury:
1. Heel cushioning and height: please make sure it is not too little but also not too much as either situation is doing any good for any tendon. You should have a slight cushion or elevation in the heel.
2. Not too little: you don’t want cushioning which is so soft that your heel will sink lower at the heel than the front part of the foot; it overly strains the tendon.
3. Flexible sole at the forefoot: the midsoles should be firm, but also be able to bend comfortably at each stride.
If you have Achilles tendon injuries, please consult your doctor and get it taken care of! If you don’t have one and wish to prevent one from happening, follow the guidelines above and get the proper shoes and don’t overdue the exercise and sports.

Ice Therapy Safety

Ice pack, which is a form of cold therapy – is absolutely wonderful for relieving the pain of injured knees. However, there are some safety precautions that anyone using cold therapy should know and be aware of.

There are four stages to cold therapy:
1- A cooling sensation that lasts for several minutes
2- The cooling sensation will turn into a dull ache that lasts a few minutes
3- A burning sensation is the next phase and will usually last less than a minute
4- Numbness will set in.

When practicing cold therapy on an injury, the stages should be followed through to numbness because the ease of movement will return briefly and it will help reduce inflammation.

Reasons for a cold pack will vary but they can be used for injuries, when tendonitis flairs up, relief after surgery, sprains and soreness.

Never wear a cold pack when sleeping and if you are alone, have someone check on you after 15 minutes via phone or stop by if you’re using a cold pack. Prolonged exposure to extreme cold can damage tissues and slow down your healing if the treatment is overused. Also, if you suffer from any problems with circulation or are diabetic; consult your physician to make sure that cold therapy is okay for you.

Under the right circumstances, cold therapy is an easy way to get pain relief and help your body heal itself, just make sure that cold therapy is the right way to treat your injury and you’ll be back in the game in no time.

Simple Tips For Preventing Childhood Sports Injuries

It’s a call no parent wants to get. You’re at work, engrossed in the crisis of the moment that’s yours to solve and your phone rings, it’s your child’s coach and he’s hurt his knee at football practice, and right now it looks pretty bad.

Sports injuries are going to happen as long as there are kids and sports. However, there are some things you can do to help keep yourself from getting a phone call like the just mentioned.

First of all, make sure that the sports your child is enrolled in are overseen by adults that are certified athletic trainers (ATC). An ATC is also trained in the prevention, recognition and immediate care of athletic injuries.

Next, make sure your child understands that protective gear necessary for playing his or her chosen sport as well as wearing that equipment at all times during play. That, “Just this once” time your child doesn’t wear pads or a helmet can be the time he or she suffers an injury.

The importance of warming up and stretching muscles can’t be said enough. Muscles must be warmed up or they run the risk of tearing or strain. Light stretching, jogging and other light warm up exercises will greatly increase your child’s chances of not being on the injured list.

Talk to your child about “R.I.C.E.”. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation is one of the best early treatments for an injury. Talking to your child about what RICE is as well as why it’s done will help your child not only understand what to do in case of an injury, he or she won’t panic or get upset when these procedures are done in case of an injury.

With warmer weather approaching, it’s also important to talk to your child about heat related illness. Children perspire less than adults and require a higher core body temperature to trigger sweating. Heat-related illnesses include:
*dehydration (deficit in body fluids)

*heat exhaustion (nausea, dizziness, weakness, headache, pale and moist skin, heavy perspiration, normal or low body temperature, weak pulse, dilated pupils, disorientation, fainting spells)

*heat stroke (headache, dizziness, confusion, and hot dry skin, possibly leading to vascular collapse, coma, and death). All of these are dangerous conditions and can even be fatal, but they can be easily prevented by staying hydrated and resting if they experience any of the above symptoms while playing in hot weather.

Sports are important, they help kids stay fit and develop valuable social skills. Knowledge about how injuries happen and what to do when they do is some of the most powerful information you can give you child. Talk to your child and go over the easy tips outlined here and you’ll have taken a great first step to avoiding that phone call!