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Sporting injuries - are you fit for the pitch?

Injury advice for weekend athletes


© PA Photo/thinkstockphotos
© PA Photo/thinkstockphotos
Such preparation may help reduce the risk of the more common sporting injuries, which include sprained ankles, recurrent low back pain, anterior cruciate ligament knee injuries, Achilles tendon problems and groin strains.

People who keep fit by running will often suffer "biomechanical niggles", says Croft, including friction on the outside of the knee, sprained ankles, knee cartilage problems and Achilles tendon pain.

But she points out: "Irritation to the Achilles might just come down to inappropriate footwear - not having the right shoes for your foot type."

Another, less common but extremely disabling, injury is an Achilles tendon rupture, which tends to occur in the over-forties age group.

It's the injury that David Beckham suffered in March and which has put him out of action for months, ending his dream of becoming the first England player to appear in four World Cups.

"Usually, Achilles tears or ruptures require a strong contraction of the calf muscle, so often that's in sports like sprinting or tennis."

The best way for 'weekend athletes' to prevent injuries, Croft advises, is by starting to exercise gradually - so initially running for 20 minutes instead of 40 minutes, for example.

"People who haven't exercised for a while need to recognize that they're not going to be at the same level as they were last time," she warns.


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