Common Soccer Injuries

IMAGE Soccer is a great way to build endurance, improve speed, and stay fit, all while enjoying being a part of a team. However, soccer does involve quick start-and-stop motions and physical contact, which can lead to injury. Risk of injury is no reason not to play soccer, though. Soccer players just need to be aware of the risks and know what steps they can take to play as safely as possible.

1. Sprains

Sprains are common soccer injuries. They often happen to the ankle or knee. The pivoting and lateral movements of soccer contribute to these injuries. To avoid unnecessary risk, always check the condition of the field before you play. Do not play on fields that are uneven or have holes or rocks on them. Also proper footwear and appropriate strength and balance training are the key to prevention.

2. Strains

Muscle strains can be caused by:
  • Pulling a muscle too far in a direction it does not want to go
  • Contracting a muscle hard against resistance
  • Contracting a muscle hard when the muscle is not ready
The most common muscle strains in soccer occur with groin muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. A muscle strain won't send you to the emergency room, but it can be painful and can keep you off the field for a few days or weeks. Strains occur frequently in soccer due to constant stop and go movement, or taking a longer stride than muscles can handle. Good flexibility and strength can lower your chances of muscle strain. Start with a warm up, then stretch the areas that are most likely to suffer a strain. Make sure that you are also doing strengthening exercises before the season begins. Wearing well-fitted cleats with appropriate spikes (longer spikes in softer turf and shorter spikes on dry, hard turf) may also help prevent strains.

3. Fractures

The majority of soccer-related fractures are also in the lower extremities . Fractures often occur as a result of contact, so wearing protective gear like shin guards is extremely important.

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