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Common injuries in soccer
As summer turns into autumn and the leaves turn from green to shades of red, orange, and brown, soccer season begins at many schools throughout the country. Kids from around the United States are beginning to play soccer on a more frequent basis, and while it is generally considered a safe physical activity compared to other sports, the increasing amount of people playing has led to an increase in the amount of injuries. While there are many common injuries related to soccer, there are also simple preventative measures that can be taken in order to decrease the risk.
Lower extremity injuries are the most common in soccer with changing directions and pivoting being the most common cause. Ankle sprains occur most frequently and usually involve damage in one or more ligaments connected to the ankle. Knee sprains are the second most common injuries and often involve the medial collateral ligament. Muscle strains are also common, caused from stretching the muscle beyond its limits and leading to tears. Thigh and calf muscles are the most frequently strained muscles in soccer, and stress fractures, tendinitis, and shin splints often occur due to overuse. Soccer players are also at risk for concussions due to collisions or not heading the ball properly.
Despite all of these common injuries, there are easy steps a soccer player can take to prevent these injuries. The first step is to maintain an optimal fitness level. Before the start of the season, a player should make sure he or she is in top physical condition and should be incorporating aerobics, strength training, and flexibility into his or her training regimen. Additionally, stretching and warming up before practice or a game is highly recommended as it greatly reduces the chance of injury. Cooling and stretching afterwards can reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles long and flexible. Another very important step is to drink plenty of fluids, as any sort of dehydration can negatively affect athletic performance as the body will not be able to cool down and rest.
Soccer can be an extremely fun and exhilarating sport to play for many people. However, like with any sport, it is always important to keep in mind the injuries that can occur and to learn the best preventative measures in order for players to stay on the field and perform at the top level of their game.
If you do find yourself on the sidelines, please give Access Physical Therapy & Wellness a call. Our team will help get you back on your feet and back on the field in no time.
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