Soccer is a popular sport all over the world that is enjoyed by both children and adults. Even though soccer is an enjoyable form of aerobic exercise and helps develop agility, balance, coordination and teamwork, players must be mindful of the risks involved. Prevention of soccer injuries, timely detection and management can keep both children and adults on the field for a long-term basis in order to enjoy the sport.
Common soccer injuries
Strains and sprains are the common soccer injuries on the lower extremities. The severity of these injuries tends to vary. The sprains on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and cartilage tears are listed as common soccer injuries that require surgical intervention.
Other soccer injuries include fractures as well as contusions from direct strikes to the body while playing the sport.
Overuse injuries in the lower extremities
Some of the common overuse injuries in soccer include shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and patellar tendinitis. Many players are also susceptible to groin pull as well as calf and thigh muscle strains. Even stress fractures can occur once the bone becomes weak due to overuse. Remember that stress fractures are often difficult to distinguish from soft tissue injuries.
In case pain develops in any part of the lower extremity and does not clearly improve after a few days of rest, a doctor should be consulted in order to determine if a stress fracture is present.
Soccer injuries in the upper extremities
The injuries on the upper extremities typically occur from falls on an extended arm or from contact with other players. The usual injuries include wrist fractures, wrist sprains and shoulder dislocations.
Head, face and neck injuries
Soccer injuries to the head, face and neck include bruises and cuts, neck sprains, fractures and concussions. When it comes to a concussion, it involves any alteration to the mental state of the individual due to head trauma and requires proper assessment by a doctor. Just remember though that not all players who experience a concussion lose consciousness.
Management of soccer injuries
Participation must be stopped right away until any form of injury is assessed and properly managed. Most soccer injuries are only minor and can be treated with a short period of rest, application of ice and elevation.
In case a trained healthcare professional is available to assess the injury of the individual, a decision can be made whether to allow the player continue immediately. The individual must return to play only when clearance has been given by a healthcare professional.
As for overuse injuries, they can be treated with a short period of rest. It simply means that the individual can continue to practice with certain modifications. In most cases, if the activity is continued despite the pain, it can cause more harm particularly for stress fractures, injuries to the knee ligaments as well as injuries to the neck or head. A doctor should be consulted for thorough analysis and management of any injury that does not appear to seem to heal after a few days of rest.