Football Injuries


If you play on a professional level or just for Sunday league, injuries in football are common. These injuries can be caused from collisions with an opponent or landing awkwardly from a jump. However, one third of football injuries are due to over use and gradually develop over time.


Sheffield Physiotherapy can diagnose your injury, provide sports massage, electrotherapy and acupuncture. We can give you direction on exercises to do at home along with information on how to improve your training regime and prevent further injuries. We can also provide information on correct footwear.


Football Injuries


Sprained Ankle


A sprained ankle happens when the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint become over stretched or tear. The most common cause of a sprained ankle is when the foot is turned inwards, overstretching the outside of the ankle. When this happens, the ankle can even make a snapping or popping sound. The ankle will swell and bruising may be visible.


Knee Pain


This is pain in and around the knee joint. Knee pain is most commonly caused by arthritic changes or ligament injuries of the knee. Pain is usually worse when the knee is active. Pain and swelling may reduce the mobility of the knee joint.


Achilles Tendon Injury


The Achilles is the tendon at the back of the ankle. Achilles tendon injuries cause a soreness and stiffness in the tendon that gradually gets worse. It may be difficult to move the ankle. The tendon can partially or fully tear after an injury. It is commonly caused by overuse but can develop due to tight muscles within the leg that cause the foot to become misaligned.


Hamstring Strain


The hamstring is a group of four muscles that run along the back of the thigh. They allow you to bend your leg at the knee. When the muscles become overloaded, they may begin to tear. You’re most likely to get a hamstring injury when running and jumping, particularly when you have to stop and start suddenly. Glutes and hamstrings work together, weak glutes can contribute to hamstring injury. Hamstring strain can be severely painful, you will feel pain in the back of the thigh and the buttocks, especially when walking, straightening the leg or bending over. The area may also be tender and bruised.


Low Back Pain


Although playing football strengthens the lower back area, strain from repetitive impact can create pain. Repetitive arching or twisting can put a lot of pressure on the spine. Pain may present in a dull ache in the back, with or without pain in the buttocks. Muscles in the back can spasm and tighten, making it difficult to move.


How Can Physiotherapy Help Football Injuries?


We here at Sheffield Physiotherapy are used to working with footballers at top level and have had a great success rate at getting players back into the game. Physiotherapy can help reduce stiffness, bruising and swelling in football injuries. The physiotherapist helps to improve mobility and strength in the painful area so that you can get back to your training.


After an assessment of the injury and your bio-mechanics, the physiotherapist may suggest soft tissue massage  and electrotherapy. Acupuncture may also be used to promote healing and reduce pain.  The physiotherapist can also advise you on exercises to do at home, training improvements and correct footwear. In the case of lower back pain or injuries PAMM therapy may be used.


How Can I Prevent Football Injuries?


  • Make sure you do correct stretching and warm up exercises before playing.
  • Gradually introduce changes to your routine rather than diving in head first.
  • Wear the correct footwear.
  • Get regular sports massages.

How Can I Help Myself?


Before you call a physiotherapist there are things you can do at home to ease the pain and swelling of your injury.


  • Take Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory medication (NSAID).
  • Elevate the area.
  • Rest.
  • Put an ice pack on the area.
  • Give the area a gentle massage
  • Try and gently stretch the joint.
  • Compress the area with a bandage.


To get your football injury treated quickly, call us on 0114 268 6677 or email You can also book an appointment with us online.