Regardless of whether you are an eager Sunday League player or a major international star, playing football can be a pretty risky business.
Injuries are commonplace in football, with the fast-paced nature of the sport meaning muscular issues or broken bones occur fairly regularly.
Thankfully, advancements in sports medicine have had a significant impact on recovery times, helping modern-day players return to action more quickly than their predecessors.
How are Football Injuries Treated?
Football injuries can vary wildly in severity. For instance, recovery from a minor muscle strain may take a couple of days, while a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) will rule a player out for several months.
The quality of treatment available also differs depending on which level a player operates at. For example, a Premier League player has daily access to the best medical treatment money can buy.
By contrast, a Sunday League player will generally be reliant on public healthcare services unless they are fortunate enough to be able to pay for private treatment.
Either way, no footballer likes to miss playing games through injury. With that in mind, here are some of the most innovative treatments for football injuries.
Regenerative Medicine & Orthobiologics
Regenerative medicine and orthobiologics use the body’s natural healing processes to aid recovery. Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy are the two most popular techniques.
Stem cell therapy through companies such as bioxcellerator.com involves injecting stem cells into damaged tissues, promoting repair and regeneration. For severe football injuries such as ligament tears, stem cell therapy has helped to significantly speed up recovery times for players.
PRP therapy is a process which uses a patient’s own blood to extract concentrated platelets. These are then injected into the injured area to accelerate the healing of muscle strains and tendonitis.
Adipose (fat) tissue and bone marrow are other elements of orthobiologics which can be used to treat sports injuries. Common examples include corticosteroid injections for inflammation reduction and hyaluronic acid injections for joint lubrication.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Surgeons are increasingly using minimally invasive surgery techniques to ensure less damage is caused to the body than when utilising open surgery.
Generally speaking, this type of treatment results in less pain during recovery, shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and better recovery outcomes.
Minimally invasive surgery uses smaller surgical cuts, thus ensuring that the procedure does not have as much long-term impact on the patient’s body.
Laparoscopy was one of the first types of minimally invasive surgery, while robotic surgery has become more prevalent in recent years. This allows surgeons to operate with far more precision.
Technology has transformed how football injuries across the spectrum are treated, helping players at all levels spend much less time on the sidelines.
Wearable devices and virtual reality programs are among the technology elements used to enhance injury prevention techniques and support swifter rehabilitation.
Cryotherapy is another innovation which is used to treat injuries, with the extreme cold temperatures in the chamber helping to reduce inflammation and speed up the recovery process.
Former Manchester United and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is an advocate of cryotherapy, and his longevity in the sport highlights its effectiveness.
The treatment of football injuries has progressed massively over the past few decades, allowing players to remain in the sport much longer than was previously the case.
Minor problems can now be fixed far more effectively through modern sports medicine techniques, while issues such as ACL tears are no longer the career-ending injury they once were.
As medical professionals continue to push the boundaries in this area, it will naturally follow that injury treatments in football will become even more efficient in the future.
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