The 2020 AFL Grand Final is rapidly approaching, and the team here at SynxBody can’t wait to see Richmond and Geelong battle it out for the premiership this Saturday. Even though the 2020 AFL Season went slightly ‘off-script,’ SynxBody recommends that avid players of the Australian game should stick to their regularly scheduled training and recovery, as prescribed by their podiatrist, of course.
AFL games are incredibly taxing on the body. Players typically run an average of 9-20 kilometres per game, which unsurprisingly, puts their feet through high levels of stress. Nor can we forget to mention the strain repeated kicking, jumping, and sprinting places on a player's lower limbs and ligaments.
Each year the AFL releases data on the season’s injuries and to no surprise, foot, ankle and lower limb injuries top the lists. Plantar fascia ruptures became the AFL's most recurrent injury in 2018, at a staggeringly high rate of 67% (ouch!). The recurrence of plantar fascia pain also jumped to 25 per cent, with ruptures and pain in this area registered at zero per cent in 2017.
But why is this? Well, the most common reasons for plantar fascia injuries and pain are attributed to playing footy on hard surfaces and wearing ill-fitting footwear.
Although players typically walk away from a game with their feet battered, bruised and worse for wear, there are a number of ways to maintain your foot health during footy season to avoid these much-dreaded injuries. Wondering what they are? All you need to do is read on to find out SynxBody’s top tips to maintain your foot health during training and finals.
Warm up and cool down properly. Keeping your muscles limber, stretched, and strengthened prevents injuries occurring during and after games. Incorporating stretching into your pre-game warm-ups, and post-game cool downs is the golden ticket to maintaining good foot and ankle health.
Wear correctly-fitted shoes (and insoles if necessary). Players wearing incorrectly-fitted boots during training and games is the leading cause of plantar fascia injuries and pain. Although plantar fasciitis is a painful condition, the best thing about it is, that for the most part, it’s preventable.
When shopping for your next pair of boots, ensure they fit correctly and that they offer the support football players need. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt to slide a pair of Synxsole Everyday Insoles into your shoes to bump up support levels.)
See a podiatrist! If injury does occur, your local podiatrist will become your new best friend. Your podiatrist will assess your injury through testing, and develop a tailored treatment plan to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible (pun intended). It’s important to follow your treatment plan to the ‘T’ to reduce your recovery times and prevent further damage.
- Most importantly, remember this: if something feels wrong, that means it probably is. Don’t push through the pain, as often this causes long-lasting damage that can put players on the sidelines for weeks, if not months (or even years!) Get in touch with your body and your intuition, and always place your physical health first in order to keep playing the game that you love. Seek first aid immediately after injury occurs.
To celebrate the 2020 AFL Grand Final, SynxBody is offering 20% off all online purchases made from Friday, October 23rd to Friday, October 30th, 2020, when the discount code GRANDFINAL2020 is entered at the checkout.
No matter who takes home the gold, your feet will be the real winners thanks to this gift from us to you! Get in quick though, as this is a limited-time offer only.
Click below to hear our CEO, Rachael Ferguson, run through SynxBody's top tips to maintaining your foot health as an athlete.