Derby Tigers
Injury Prevention and recovery
Dr Steven Peterson
Injury Prevention
• Sporting injuries are common, serious and
• Common – majority of AFL players can
nominate an injury received or aggrevated
each year
– It’s a tough game
• Serious
– Prevent further sport or decrease performance
– Lifelong disability
Preventable / treatable
• Prevent injuries from (re)occurring
– Warm up / stretches
– Strapping and protective gear
– Warm down / recovery
• Minimize the initial damage of injuries
– Acute post injury care
• Rehabilitate injuries that require it
• Repair is not always possible so prevention key
• Greatest risk of an injury is prior injury
– Not always same injury either
• Prevention for AFL
– Warm up
– Stretching
– Taping and bracing
– Protective equipment
Warm Up
• Prepares body for exercise
– Increase blood flow to muscles
– Helps mental preparation
– Increase oxygen to muscles
• Makes the fuel in the muscles work much, much better
– Makes muscles work smoothly
• More effective and less risk of tear / overstretch
• Only works in last 30min before game
– So not too early
Warm Up – Pre AFL
• Personal – whatever helps you prepare
• General activity
– Jogging and general stretching
• Specific to your role
– Practicing the movements and activities you will
do on the field
– 50%-75% intensity max (sweat but not fatigued)
– Reduce risk of injury from specific stretched
movements by 50%
• To ensure smooth joint motion throughout full
range of movement
• Especially useful for AFL (high intensity)
• Safest after the warmup
• Stretching is like weightlifting
– Repeated regular stretching increases the muscles
strength, power and endurance
– Decrease injury by 32%
– Get in the habit
Stretching pre game
• Controversial how much it reduces injury
• Probably does to targeted high risk areas
– Risky if you overstretch
• Static stretch – slowly assume position
– Hold muscle 30 seconds at least
• This causes muscle fibers to relax
– After 30seconds push a little bit more
– At no time discomfort
• That means overstretching and possible injury
• Point is to stop unwanted (over)movement
– To protect from injury
– To help an old one to fix
• Should be done prior to warm up
• Best evidence is for prevention
Need rigid non-stretch tape
Ankle, wrist, shoulder most appropriate
Shave 8 hours prior (less skin irritation)
Injured ligaments should be in shortened
position prior to taping
• Anchors (tape sticks better to tape than skin)
• Overlap between strips
• Redo if no longer firm, torn etc
• Braces (knees etc) are good as can be fitted by
patients but needs to be fitted correctly
• Ideal football boot
– Rigid heel counter
– Flexible forefoot
– Wide sole
– Slightly curved
– Adequate foot depth
• Headgear not a lot of evidence
• Goal is to recover from game quickly to
maximize performance at training / next game
– Remove lactic acid (waste product from muscle
metabolism (activity)) from muscles
– Start damage minimization or healing of injuries
– Change from breaking down muscle to building it
– Replace carbohydrate stores
• Stretching helps lactic acid clearance
• Gentle walking and muscle use (5-10min)
• Ice bath (1-3 min) body cooling and stop
• Soft tissue massage
• Benefit from light activity the next day
• Recovery meal of carbs and protein
If that doesn’t work
• Injuries are individual and if concerned or
unfamiliar should speak to doctor or physio
• Head and neck injuries need review
• General principles and advice
Acute management of injury RICE
• First 24 hours most important
– Damaged tissue and vessels cause blood pooling,
compression, hypoxia and further damage
Rest - decrease bleeding and swelling
Ice - 20min every 2 hours for 6 hours
Compression - firm bandage over area
Elevation - reduce swelling
Avoid HARM
Heat – causes further bleeding
Alcohol – mask injury, interfere with recovery
Running or other activity – further damage
Massage – further swelling
• Should discuss with doctor or physio as to
specific injury management
• In general – short period of immobilization
– Scar tissue strengthening, avoid re-injury
• Mobilization avoids stiffness and weakness
– May need protection to stop unwanted movement
– May have passive or limited movement
• Analgesia to control pain
– This can help movement for rehabilitation
• Anti-inflammatories for inflammation
– Stop the injury getting worse
• Steroid injections – bridge to buy time
• Heat/cold, acupuncture, manipulation,
surgery, others – speak to doc.
• Something to consider during off season
• Work out a plan with doctor or physio
• An active process after acute phase of injury
– Getting strength and flexibility in injured part
– Acquiring skills of sport
– Returning to prior activity
• Walk in bulk billing clinic
• Ask to see me (or male doctor) and I will try
see you quickly
• Occasionally I am not there
• If you want an appointment let me
(0439895573) or Matt know
– we will work something out
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