Soccer

Soccer

Common Injuries

Ankle

Ankle sprains occur when the foot rolls beyond its normal range overstretching or tearing the ligaments. Lateral ankle sprains occur when the foot rolls inward injuring the ligaments on the outside of the ankle which include the anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. During soccer, this injury results from twisting the ankle while running or direct contact with another player.

Knee

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments that stabilize the knee. It prevents excessive forward movement of the tibia (shin bone) on the femur (thigh bone). It is located inside the knee joint. During soccer, this occurs while decelerating during running or a sudden change in direction.

The meniscus is a fibrocartilage located in the knee joint. It is responsible for distributing forces and contributing to the stability of the joint. In soccer, injury to this structure results from excessive rotation of the knee with a planted foot.

Thigh

A muscle strain or a pulled muscle occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn. The hamstrings are a common site for a muscle strain during soccer. The hamstrings are located at the back of the thigh and are responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. This injury results from a muscle imbalance, inadequate warm up, lack of flexibility or muscle fatigue.

Prevention

  • Initiate a pre-season training program to prepare the body to meet the demands of the sport
  • Work with coaches and trainers on proper mechanics during sport specific maneuvers including landing, cutting and running.
  • Incorporate a balance program throughout the season to reduce risk of ankle sprain
  • Wear a lace up ankle brace if you have a history of ankle sprain to reduce risk of re-injury
  • Incorporate a dynamic warm-up before play to increase heart rate and circulation
  • Allow adequate rest to recover form exercise and don’t play through pain to avoid overuse injury
  • ACL injury prevention programs incorporating stretching, strengthening, plyometrics and sport specific agilities with emphasis on correct postures have been effective at decreasing injury risk