How To Prepare For Football Pre-season

Pre-season preparation: How to best prepare your foot and ankle health during pre-season training

How To Prepare For Football Pre-seasonWith the new year off to a quick start, it means pre-season for the AFL is right around the corner. In the coming weeks, many local football clubs will re-commence pre-season training in preparation for the new season.

Getting pre-season right is essential for injury prevention, as health professionals often see an increase in running and overload injuries due to decreased strength capacity. This is often caused by the high volumes of running, jumping and physically demanding tasks during training. As a result, often our foot and ankle strength may not be able to keep up with these demands, placing our tissue in a deformation state, and increasing the risk of injuries. Common lower leg and foot injuries seen during pre-season football include ankle sprains, achilles and heel pain, 1st toe pain, and medial tibial stress syndrome (better known as shin splints).

So what are some things a podiatrist can do to help prevent the above injuries?

At Melbourne Podiatry Clinic, we have the tools to measure risk factors that might contribute to an increased risk of injury. This includes:

  • Assessing history of previous foot and ankle injuries
  • Joint range of motion testing: determining how flexible and rigid your foot joints are that can lead to injury
  • Strength testing: specialist VALD testing which determines your foot and ankle strength, helping set targets to increase lower leg strength and reduce discrepancies
  • Walking and Running Gait Analysis: advancing running and walking techniques and cues to help reduce your risk of injury
  • Rehab programs: prescribe rehab-specific exercises to reduce injuries of the foot and ankle as well as warm-up exercises for training, and matches
  • Running shoe and football boot assessments: identifying if your footwear is appropriate for your feet and playing grounds.

If you’re wanting to be pro-active this pre-season to enhance your foot and ankle strength for the upcoming football season, we would love to help. We are also interested in working alongside local football clubs to help enhance their pre-season training programs to prevent foot and ankle injuries.

If you would like individualised support or your club would be interested in ongoing partnerships, book an appointment to speak with one of our podiatrists today!