Jun. 04, 2021
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world and the fastestgrowing team sport in the United States. Although soccer provides an enjoyable form of aerobic exercise and helps develop balance, agility, coordination, and a sense of teamwork, soccer players must be aware of the risks for injury. Injury prevention, early detection, and treatment can keep kids and adults on the field long-term.
The most common types of injuries sustained while playing soccer are bruising, sprains, strains, fractures and dislocations. Injuries to the lower body (ankle and knee) are most common, followed by the upper body and head.
Common causes of injuries are player contact, falls and tackles.
To prevent injury, you should:
·Have a pre-season physical examination and follow your doctor's recommendations
·Use well-fitting cleats and shin guards — there is some evidence that molded and multi-studded cleats are safer than screw-in cleats
·Be aware of poor field conditions that can increase injury rates
·Use properly sized synthetic balls — leather balls that can become waterlogged and heavy are more dangerous, especially when heading
·Watch out for mobile goals that can fall on players and request fixed goals whenever possible
·Hydrate adequately — waiting until you are thirsty is often too late to hydrate properly
·Pay attention to environmental recommendations, especially in relation to excessively hot and humid weather, to help avoid heat illness
·Maintain proper fitness — injury rates are higher in athletes who have not adequately prepared physically
·After a period of inactivity, progress gradually back to full-contact soccer through activities such as aerobic conditioning, strength training, and agility training.
·Avoid overuse injuries — more is not always better! Many sports medicine specialists believe that it is beneficial to take at least one season off each year. Try to avoid the pressure that is now exerted on many young athletes to over-train. Listen to your body and decrease training time and intensity if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury and help avoid "burn-out"
·Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about injuries or soccer injury prevention strategies