Identifying Common Soccer Injuries
Soccer is a global sport on the rise here in the United States with athletes of all ages. As fall sports begin and young athletes settle into their practice schedules, we’re highlighting common sports injuries and ways to prevent them on and off the field. Let’s take a closer look at soccer injuries.
ACL Sprains & Tears
As soccer players are constantly running and rapidly pivoting, they are at a high risk for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. A simple maneuver, such as passing the ball, at such a high speed may cause the player to extend his or her leg beyond its normal range of motion and tear the ACL.
As with any athlete, soccer players may experience soreness or tenderness in their core muscle groups from time to time. Prolonged inflammation in a specific area, however, may be a sign of tendinitis. Tendinitis is typically caused by repetitive movements around a specific joint, such as the knee or elbow.
Although soccer is primarily a hands-off sport, wrist sprains and fractures are particularly common among players. As players sprint up and down the field, they may trip or collide with other players and often use their wrists to break their fall. Falling on an outstretched hand may tear a wrist ligament or fracture a bone.
Soccer is designed as a non-contact sport, so players are not required to wear protective headwear. However, we know that player-on-player contact does occur on the field and often leads to bruising, concussions or fractures. For young athletes, head injuries may be especially devastating and lead to future developmental complications.
Soccer injury prevention starts with understanding the value of warm-ups and stretches before practices or games. Taking five minutes to stretch your primary muscle groups will make a tremendous difference in your play while greatly reducing your risk for injury. Additional ways to prevent soccer injuries include:
- Proper hydration. Breaking for 8-10 ounces of water every half-hour keeps your body cool and your muscles functioning properly.
- Proper equipment. Wearing shin guards will protect your lower legs from injury, while cleats will ensure you retain your footing during sudden pivots.
- Proper awareness. Coaches should have a strong knowledge of common soccer injuries and be able to provide first aid when required.
Contact the Sports Injury Experts
If you’ve recently suffered from a soccer-related injury, call the Sports Medicine Hotline at (636)-62-SPORT or set up an appointment online with Dr. Melander. Dr. Melander works with young athletes across all sports to treat their injuries and get them back in the game as quickly as possible.