Already the most popular global team sport, soccer continues to gain popularity in the United States. With more folks playing soccer, it’s not surprising that the number of soccer-related accidents is increasing — particularly as kids get older and their level of play.
Sprains and strains, often around the knee and knee, are extremely common in soccer. Player collisions — either full body or kick collisions — may result in a broad selection of injuries, such as bruises, cuts, and concussions. Overuse injuries, such as Achilles tendinitis and shin splints, often occur, as well.
Several strategies can help prevent soccer injuries — from careful inspection of this area to wearing suitable shin guards. In this article, we will share with you how to prevent soccer injuries.
What are some common soccer injuries?
1. Lower Extremity Injuries
Sprains and strains are the most common lower extremity injuries. The severity of the injuries varies. Cartilage tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains in the knee are some of the more common injuries that may require surgery.
2. Overuse Lower Extremity Injuries
Shin splints (soreness in the calf), patellar tendinitis (pain in the knee), and Achilles tendinitis (pain in the rear of the ankle) are some of the more common soccer overuse conditions. Soccer players will also be more likely to groin pulls and thigh and calf muscle strains.
Stress fractures occur when the bone gets weak from overuse. It is often difficult to differentiate stress fractures from soft tissue injury. If pain develops in any part of your lower extremity and doesn’t clearly improve after a couple of days of relaxation, a physician should be consulted to ascertain if it’s the stress fracture is present.
3. Upper Extremity Injuries
Injuries to the upper extremities usually happen from falling on an outstretched arm or from player-to-player contact.
4. Head, Neck, and Face Injuries
Injuries to the head, neck, and face include bruises and cuts, fractures, neck sprains, and concussions. A concussion is any alteration within an athlete’s mental state due to head trauma and should always be evaluated by a physician. Not all those who undergo a concussion eliminate consciousness.
How To Prevent Soccer Injuries
1. Preparing for Play
The main strategy for limiting the danger of a soccer injury is proper preparation before play starts. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Fitness: Remaining in great physical condition, especially at the beginning of a soccer season, can go a long way. Contain a balanced exercise program including aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility. Gradually increase activity levels to build up to a higher degree of fitness.
Stretching and warmups: Cold muscles are more likely to be hurt, so take the time to stretch and warm-up prior to playing. Warm-up with low-intensity exercises like jumping jacks, stationary cycling, or jogging in place. Stretch areas like the hips, knees, thighs, and calves, and any others that can cause issues. Cooldowns make sure you stretch after action, both to reduce soreness and keep muscles flexible and long.
Hydration: Dehydration can damage athletic performance and stop the human body’s ability to cool itself. It’s recommended that you drink 24 oz of non-caffeinated fluid two hours before exercise, and a few people see benefits from an additional eight ounces of water or sports beverage right before exercise.
2. Ensure Appropriate Equipment
Wear shin guards to help protect your lower legs. Soccer tournament records demonstrate that lower leg injuries are most often caused by inadequate shin guards.
Wear shoes with molded cleats or ribbed soles. Shoes with screw-in cleats are often associated with a greater risk of harm. However, shoes with screw-in cleats must be worn when more traction is required, like on a wet field with higher grass. Use synthetic, nonabsorbent balls on moist playing areas. Leather balls may get water-logged and very heavy when wet, placing players at high risk for harm.
3. Ensure a Safe Environment
Soccer goals should be well-padded and correctly secured. Padding the goal decreases the incidence of head injuries when the goalie and other group members collide with all the posts.
The playing surface has to be kept in good condition. Determined by the playing area ought to be full, bare spots reseeded, and debris removed.
Safe the targets at the conclusion of play. A simple bicycle lock may chain the objects together and prevent them from leaning over. Unsecured, unsupervised soccer goals can fall upon children and result in severe injuries.
4. Pay attention to the weather conditions
In a thunderstorm, depart the field and get inside immediately. In warm weather, take sufficient water breaks. In cold weather, wear appropriate clothing, such as gloves and hats. Consider shortening practices in severe temperature extremes.
Don’t crawl under or sit goal, or hang out of the net. Injuries and deaths have occurred when goals have dropped onto players.
5. Prepare for Injuries
When playing on artificial grass areas, be sure to adequately clean any skin scratches or abrasions to decrease the prospect of them getting infected. Be ready for emergencies.
6. Safe Return to Play
A player’s symptoms must be completely gone until they can return to play, including a total absence of pain and swelling and a complete assortment of motion. In cases of concussion, players have to be cleared by a health provider after showing no symptoms. In the event that you or your child sustain a sports accident, contact your physician for the correct treatment protocol.
Soccer is the most popular game in the world. Expectedly, the incidence of soccer-related accidents is high and these harms exert a substantial burden on individuals and families, including health and financial burdens, as well as on the socioeconomic and healthcare systems. We hope that through this article, you will know how to prevent soccer injuries.