Get treated like a footballer - A blog series . Part 2 - What treatments do Professional Footballers get?
Football is the most commonly played sport across the entire world. From Grassroots to Professional Level almost all players sustain some kind of injury during their participation. Having worked at an Elite level for both Injury prevention & Injury management with Footballers, this series of three blogs will share some of my insights.
Due to the value of football players, It's common to see a whole team of medical professionals working around the clock to ensure that a player is available for selection. The second part of the series will look at a variety of treatment techniques available to Professional Footballers and how you may be able to get access to them.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy uses multiple injections of a concentrated platelets (healing cells) to accelerate the repair of injured tissue. PRP injections are prepared by taking some of your own blood and running it through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient's own healing system to aid recovery.
Access & Availability: Available at some private clinics/hospitals under the management of specialist consultant.
Cost: Very expensive £200+ per injection
Strength & Conditioning
This involves a series of specific prescribed exercises that lead to physiological recovery from an injury. Often led by the Physiotherapist or a strength and conditioning coach, a player maybe subject to 1-2 hours worth per day. This may sound like a lot, but this is how players recover from injuries in record time.
Access & Availability: Through conventional physiotherapy treatments via the NHS or privately.
Cost: Relatively Inexpensive 0-£45
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a state of the art, non-invasive technique that works by sending specific impulses of energy into injured tissue. It's often used to treat tendons, fascia & bursa that, in contrast to muscle, have a poor blood supply and consequently take longer to heal. It can be painful but it's quickly emerging as a widely successful treatment intervention.
Access & Availability: Available at some Private Physiotherapy Practices including us here at Physio Form.
Cost: Moderately expensive £60 per session
Cortisone Steroid Injection
Cortisone steroids can be used to treat a wide variety of inflammatory conditions from allergic reactions to acne. However, for the purpose of this blog we'll look into the use of Cortisone Injections for sports injuries. Steroids are a man-made version of hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands, two small glands found above the kidneys. When injected into a joint or muscle, the steroids reduce inflammation in the nearby area- This can help relieve pain and stiffness. Cortisone can be injection into either the muscle (intramuscular) or the joint (Intra-articular).
Access & Availability: Often available on the NHS if prepared to wait. Alternatively this can be done at most private hospitals/clinics under the management of specialist consultants. Extended scope Physiotherapists & Podiatrists can also be trained to deliver this intervention.
Cost: Moderately expensive 0-£100
Footballers have immediate access to all of the discussed treatments and more. This often results in a much shorter recovery time. If the speed of recovery is essential to you, it may be worth considering investing in these treatment options. However, it's still important to follow a rehabilitation program devised by a qualified medical professional, very rarely do any interventions work in isolation.
Next Month, we'll look at Injury Prevention Techniques that are used to reduce the likelihood of injury in Professional Football.