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Australian Rules football is a fast and fantastic sport , requiring extraordinarily high athletic skill to master the sport. Strength, speed, flexibility and agility are required to meet the demands of acceleration, direction change, jumping, passing, ball kicking and catching and teamwork. Avoiding injury is certainly one of the best ways to continue enjoying playing Aussie rules football. Knee and ankle injuries are common in ARF, as are calf area injuries. Metatarsal fractures, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are also not uncommon.

At Hip2Toe Plus at our Cairns Podiatry practice, we are able to to carry out physical therapy for these conditions, as well as assessing you for Hip2Toe Plus prescription foot orthotics, to prevent further injuries taking place.

A few things to keep in mind to prevent injury:

When returning to preseason training, make sure to introduce yourself slowly, to a higher level of training. Always balance out your strength training with good stretching routines. Stretching may seem like a waste of time, but remember you are warming up your muscles and helping joints to move through their whole range of motion, so do not leave stretching out. If you are wishing to progress to professional football, I can assure you that your ability to sustain a professional career is dependent on good warming up, good technique development, and good organization skills.

Have a Hip2Toe Plus Aussie rules football assessment for your feet and lower limbs, even if you are only noticing a small amount of pain. Soft tissue injuries are often the inability of one tissue type in adapting to specific loads, so come and see us and we can diagnose the origin of the symptoms, and set you up in a Hip2Toe Plus injury prevention program at our Cairns podiatry surgery.

Always maintain good levels of hydration. Try not to play dehydrated; as your concentration levels will be lower an injury is more likely to take place.

Try and play at your own technical level of expertise. Playing at levels which are too advanced may predispose you to injury. When returning from sickness or injury rehabilitation, remember that your strength levels, technique and stamina may have decreased, and that you need time to adjust to the new loads again. Where soft tissue injury has taken place, it will be some time after the injury repair that full soft tissue strength returns.

Make sure that you are in a well designed football boot, and do not exceed approximately 5-6 months of regular wear, as the polymer memory in the materials of the boot will have decreased their ability to support your foot satisfactorily. If the boot is not supporting your foot properly, you are potentially heading for an injury. The reason for this is the increased calcaneal eversion and pronation that can take place at the subtalar joint, when the foot is not properly supported. The physics leverage forces that take place on your own foot biomechanics are large whenever you put a football boot on your foot. If the boot is worn out, then the architecture of your foot bones will not be sufficiently supported. If you have any doubts about this, come in or bring your kids in for a full Hip2Toe Plus football boot assessment appointment, to check that you have the athletic advantage.