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Injury Prevention in Football: Introducing the Fifa 11+ Programme

April 14, 2020

There’s a reason it’s called the beautiful game. Football is one of the most popular sports with 265 million players worldwide. It’s a great way to stay fit and healthy and the benefits of regular exercise have been proven in the prevention and treatment of many diseases.

But with any sport comes a certain risk of injury. Should this prevent us from playing? Well, if done correctly, we can limit this risk of injury.

The problem  

The injury rate in elite football is somewhere between 6-9 injuries per 1000 hours of play. This rate is much higher in match play than during training. Midfielder Jack Wilshere of Bournemouth is the most injury prone player in the Premier League since the 2011/12 season having missed a total of 895 days through injury! You can imagine how this could affect his health and his career!

Common Injuries

So what are the most common injuries associated with football? Number 1 on the list is the hamstrings. In fact, hamstring injuries have increased annually by 4% in professional football since 2001. The next most common injuries are those to the hip/groin, knee and ankle.

The good news - Physiotherapy

It may seem all doom and gloom but there is some good news! Take hamstring injuries for example. They are the most common football injuries but they are usually one of the easiest to treat. There is a lot of high quality evidence now to guide us in treating patients with hamstring sprains or tears into effective specific exercise prescription to get you back on your feet again and playing football pain free.

Injury Prevention

But wouldn’t it be better if we could prevent that hamstring injury in the first place? That’s where the FIFA 11+ comes in, an injury prevention programme for amateur players aged 14 and over. It is a complete warm-up package consisting of 15 exercises, which target things like proper stretching, strength and agility. The FIFA 11+ programme has been shown to reduce football injuries by 39% in recent studies. It reduces the top four most prevalent football injuries: hamstring, hip/groin, knee and ankle injury by 60%, 41%, 48% and 32%, respectively.

Take home message

So, can we prevent all football injuries with this? Well, no. Like with any sport, there will always be a risk. But if we perform injury prevention programmes like the FIFA 11+ correctly we can seriously reduce our risk. To the elite footballer that means not missing half the season with that niggling hamstring! To the average footballer, it means less pain, more time enjoying the beautiful game on the field! Get in touch with ReBalance Physiotherapy on 01 441 0100 to see how we can help you implement the FIFA 11+ correctly.