What types of injuries are most common in soccer?
Injuries to the lower extremities are the most common injuries occuring in soccer. These injuries may be traumatic, such as a kick to the leg or a twist to the knee, or result from overuse of a muscle, tendon, or bone.
Lower extremity overuse injuries can include shin splints, and tendinitis in the knee or ankle. Soccer players may also be prone to groin pulls, or thigh and calf muscle strains. Upper extremity injuries may happen from falling on an outstretched arm, or from player-to-player contact, and may affect the wrist, elbow, or shoulder. Other injuries may include cuts and bruises, fractures, sprains, and concussions, as soccer can be a high-intensity contact sport.
How can soccer injuries be prevented?
- Have a pre-season physical examination and follow your doctor’s recommendations
- Use well-fitting cleats and shin guards
- Be aware of poor field conditions that can increase injury rates
- Use properly sized synthetic balls
- Watch out for mobile goals that can fall on players
- Hydrate adequately
- Pay attention to environmental recommendations
- 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
Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about injuries or soccer injury prevention strategies