With the AFL pre-season underway, it’s important to be aware of the most common injuries sustained in AFL and consider strategies to prevent them.
There are 2 types of injuries that occur in AFL:
: Acute injuries are caused by direct contact and blows (from another player, the ball, falling or landing).
: Non-contact injuries include strains and overuse injuries.
The most common AFL injuries include:
Hamstring strain injuries are common across a range of sports, especially those involving sprinting, kicking and high-speed skills. They remain one of the main causes of time lost to injury within all levels of Aussie rules football.
Potential risk factors to hamstring strains include hamstring muscle weakness and thigh muscle imbalance, previous hamstring injury, other previous injury and age. Read more here.
Hand and finger injuries
Injuries to the hands and fingers are very common in Aussie rules and are often poorly managed leading to poor range of motion, strength, function and performance. Appropriate management early is important to ensure adequate rehabilitation. Strengthening and skills training is important in the pre-season to minimise the risk of injuries.
Shoulder (AC joint) injuries
Injuries to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint often occur due to a direct blow or fall. Training strength and stability of the rotator cuff muscles is important in helping to prevent such injuries.
Knee (ACL) injuries
ACL injuries often occur from non-contact scenarios (landing and running). Correct landing technique and running style are vital in preventing ACL injuries. Strengthening exercises can also be implemented to help prevent injury.