Footballers in pain! Injuries, early retirement and the innovation of COPA therapy.

The global sports industry is worth up to £465 billion [1] and Football alone is estimated to have 3.5 billion fans [2] – that is just under half the population of earth! Based on this, it’s easy to understand the massive impact sport has. However, it’s hard to ignore that sports injuries are a serious concern in this industry.

Sports injuries occur on a global scale and yet many find themselves still suffering from their injury years later. Football is said to cause the most injuries with over 71% of its players experiencing some kind of injury from the sport [3]. This affects professional players’ ability to play and the longevity of their careers.

On average, professional Footballers retire at the age of 35 years old. This is simply because their bodies can no longer handle the vigorous activity this sport requires. Despite this, it has been reported that many players continue to play matches despite being in pain. This can become a problem within in industry with player masking their pain and injury and pushing their bodies beyond its boundaries in the pursuit of trophies and glory.

The player is sometimes expected to play up to 70 games per season. During each game there is a 4.1% change that the player can suffer an injury that will prevent them from playing the next game [4]. However, there are many injuries that won’t prevent a player from playing such as low-grade tendinopathies and entheses. Players often turn to pain-killers to get relief from their pain and resume play with minimal discomfort. The problem occurs when this injury worsens and they have to get professional treatment. There is rarely time for full recovery and players resume play with reduction in pain; not a complete cure. This is when the injuries continue to worsen, the players continue taking painkillers and the cycle continues.

There is a pressure on team physiotherapists to rehabilitate players quickly, not allowing footballers enough recovery time to play at their full capability. In addition, team physiotherapists are often treating the same reoccurring injuries without ever curing them completely. This is a major issue within the sports industry. Despite these physiotherapists being highly skilled, players are unable to reach full recovery. This is not because the physiotherapist is failing, there is simply not enough research for this.

At CT Clinic, we treat pain differently. We believe when pain becomes persistent and reoccurring, this is chronic pain; not a sports injury. Where team physiotherapists are failing is they are trying to treat the pain as a sports injury. This results in the treatment failing to cure the pain completely because they are attempting to cure the wrong condition.

CT Clinic, based in West Didsbury, Greater Manchester, is proud to offer COPA therapy to their patients. COPA therapy is a new methodology that consists of Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Acupuncture techniques. This innovative treatment has been developed over the last 20 years by founder Ammar Sawaf and has resulted in over 20,000 pain-free patients.

Mr Sawaf believes that the source of the pain is muscle stiffness and has proven this thousands of times on his patients. Now, with the help of Myton technology, he hopes to prove this scientifically and innovate the way pain is treated within the sports industry.

Myoton technology which is the only reliable machine in the world that can measure muscle stiffness in a non-invasive way, along with also measuring biomechanical and viscoelastic properties. The machine is very simple and shows the state of the muscles within 1 minute and that is why is used by NASA and over 600 universities around the world.

CT Clinic has a dedicated approach to treating pain. Mr Sawaf’s professional football career ended at the age of 17 due to back pain. He quickly realised no one had the skills to treat his pain which ignited his passion for treating others from pain. Patients who have been told their pain is ‘untreatable’ and take the max amount of painkillers daily have felt the difference one session of COPA therapy has made. After a few sessions following their personal treatment plan, they have been cured completely and coached on how to avoid future episodes.

The success of CT Clinic’s COPA therapy is well recognised by its patients with nearly 70 five-star reviews and many video testimonials on their YouTube channel [4].

We treat pain differently.

By Ellen Maynard-Smith


[1] Kearney (2022). The sports market. [Last accessed 03/03/2022].

[2] Topendsports (2022). Top-10 List of the world’s most popular sports. [Last accessed 03/03/2022].

[3] Golf Support (2020). Sports injuries. [Last accessed 03/03/2022].

[4] CT Clinic (2022). [Last accessed 03/03/2022].