Soccer is certainly a fast-paced sport. It requires speed, endurance, a keen eye for the ball, and plenty of teamwork. However, we should also remember that this activity places a great deal of strain upon the body. So, it is not uncommon for individuals to suffer from soccer injuries from time to time. The best way to avoid such situations is to appreciate the associated risks as well as to know a handful of preventative steps. Whether you are a novice player or a seasoned professional, a bit of knowledge will certainly go a long way.
What are Some of the Most Common Soccer Injuries?
As you may have already imagined, a great deal of stress will be placed upon the lower limbs when playing soccer. This is why many injuries are associated with the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and the lower back. Here are some examples:
• Ankle and knee sprains
• An ACL tear
• Clavicle fractures
• Bursitis in one or both kneecaps
• Shin splints
• Meniscal tears
Of course, it only stands to reason that some of these injuries are more serious than others. While shin splints and minor ankle sprains tend to resolve themselves, other scenarios such as a meniscal or ACL tear may require medical intervention. Keep in mind that players of all ages and skill levels can suffer from any of the scenarios mentioned above. This is why appreciating some preventative techniques represents an excellent strategy.
How to Prevent Soccer Injuries While On and Off of the Pitch
Soccer injuries can be divided into two categories:
• Chronic injuries which present themselves over time due to overuse.
• Acute injuries that occur quickly (tearing a ligament within the knee is a perfect example).
Appreciating the warning signs of chronic issues is arguably the best way to minimise their impacts while helping to ensure that they do not evolve into more complex issues. However, it is just as important to remember that even acute injuries can often be averted by embracing a handful of regular habits.
Always make it a point to stretch out before any match; even it is nothing more than practice session. Warming up the muscles and associated connective tissues in such a manner will help to prevent common sprains, strains and tears.
Wearing the appropriate soccer accessories is just as important. Shin guards are now considered mandatory. It is also wise to invest in a pair of high-quality soccer shoes, as these will provide the balance and traction required whilst on the field. If you play on predominately artificial grass, make sure your boots have a AG designation.
Of course, it is impossible to guarantee that no injuries will occur. The main takeaway point here is that appreciating the risks and embracing the correct habits will dramatically decrease the frequency and severity. You can therefore fully enjoy all that this sport has to offer.
To find out more about how to treat soccer injuries and to help you stay injury free this soccer season, sign up for our free soccer e-book today. Alternatively, if you have recently sustained an injury, book an appointment with one of our sports injury physiotherapists and let them help you with your recovery. Call us today on (02) 9144 1510 to book your initial appointment.