As a long time athlete and lover of football, or as we call it “Soccer,” I am no stranger to soccer-specific injuries. Soccer is a running intensive sport so naturally, there are a lot of injuries that mostly affect the muscles and ligaments of the lower body. Common soccer injuries include everything from back pain, hamstring and quadricep pain, ligament sprains, and the list goes on! At HiDow, our commitment to providing pain-free living doesn’t only extend to the treatment of chronic pain, but also the prevention!
#1 Ankle Sprains
Soccer is a running sport so it is no surprise that ankle sprains are as common soccer injuries as they are! Ankle sprains are commonly caused when players roll their ankle while running. This could be caused either by poorly fitted shoes, an uneven playing surfaces or by planting the foot and changing directions quickly.
In addition to wearing the correct shoe size, the best way to prevent ankle sprains is to wear an ankle brace or to have your ankle properly wrapped to provide support while you play soccer. Additionally, proper posture can go a long way in preventing ankle sprains by helping you keep balance while running. In fact, many professional soccer players wear posture support vests and slings during both games and training sessions.
#2 ACL Sprains
On a personal note: as a former life-long athlete, this one hits close to home, as it not only is one of the most painful soccer injuries that I have experienced, it is one of the longest recovery times as well. Treating an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury can take months of physical therapy and TENS/EMS therapy to get you back on your feet.
So what causes an ACL injury? ACL injuries are most commonly caused by a direct blow to the knee— from the front or the side and by planting your foot and changing directions suddenly or pivoting.
You can help minimize ACL injuries by making sure that the muscles around the knees and hips are strengthened. Additionally, wearing proper footwear for the surface that you are playing on soft ground, firm ground, or synthetic turf. And finally, you can prevent common soccer injuries by practicing proper technique
Although concussions in soccer are far between, any sport where your head is exposed to contact can result in concussions! Concussions are mild head injuries that are caused by a hard contact with an opposing player, goal post, or rogue soccer ball! As with other sports, there have been new rules implemented to prevent head injuries in sports, such as improper heading of the ball during games and practices.
How can you prevent concussions when playing soccer? While nobody can prevent a fluke accident, there are somethings that you can do to prevent concussions from becoming a common soccer injury.
First, be mindful of your arms and elbows when you are running, jumping, or heading the ball. This will help prevent an injury for a teammate or opponent. You will also want to be very mindful of your technique when heading the ball. There is a way to use your head properly that will prevent a concussion. Keep your eye on the ball, plant your feet, and use your forehead to make contact with the ball. For specific rules about heading the ball, we recommend checking out the updated U.S. Youth Soccer rules.