There are several ways that someone can get injured in soccer whether it is from a quick change in direction/twisting motion, landing awkwardly, or colliding with another player. Some of the most common injuries seen in soccer players are sprains and strains, typically in the lower extremities. Strains can occur in the adductor muscles, but more commonly in the hamstring from lots of short bursts of sprinting. Sprains occur most often in the ankle, most people refer to it as a rolled ankle. Specifically, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or less common medial cruciate ligament (MCL) are one of, if not the most common injuries in soccer.
Other injuries may result from overuse, such as shin splints or patellar tendonitis. Occasionally, upper extremity injuries may occur due to landing on an outstretched arm, leading to a wrist fracture/sprain.
Sports Injury Prevention
Some ways to prevent these injuries are to include proper warm-up and cool-down protocols to prepare the muscles for exercise, and stretching to increase flexibility which in turn reduces the chance of injury. Additionally, strengthening the muscles around the knees is very important to help prevent injury, as well as implementing full body exercises that target both agonist and antagonist muscle groups to help prevent any muscular imbalances that would lead to injury. For example, during knee extension the quadriceps are the agonist and the hamstrings are the antagonist. Performing an exercise that targets the quads (agonist) such as lunges, and then another exercise to target the hamstrings (antagonist) such as a hamstring curl.
Sport Conditioning Warm Ups
Proper warm-up is so important in injury prevention. Typically, one would want to perform a dynamic warm-up with limbering movements to prepare the muscles for exercise. This can be done by doing a lighter intensity movement pattern that would mimic a movement pattern done during a match, involving all the muscles that are going to be used as well.
Sport Cool Down Stretches
Cool down after exercise is also important to bring down the heart rate and return the body to normal resting levels. This is where stretching should be emphasized due to the muscles still being warm and pliable, and to increase flexibility which in turn reduces chance of injury by increasing range of motion and elasticity.
Soccer Injury Treatment
Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment can be anywhere from icing a minor injury, to full blown surgery from a torn ACL. Most of the time whenever a player feels a little sore or they had a few minor collisions, icing 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off can help reduce swelling. However if the injury is more serious like a muscle strain or torn ligament, then proper rest and seeing a doctor would be required.
Sport Conditioning and Performance
Reach out to us if you want to learn more about our sport specific conditioning and performance services. Whether it’s for soccer, hockey, rugby, football or something else, we can help train you to reach maximum performance. Contact us for more information.