Everyone loves a good soccer game, but high-contact sports like this can lead to many minor to severe injuries. Soccer accidents are not uncommon, and it’s rare that someone leaves a career in soccer unscathed.
What are some of the most common soccer injuries you should know about, and how can you prevent them?
There are plenty of injuries that you can receive while playing soccer, but these are some of the most common soccer injuries today.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common soccer injuries to date. They happen when the ligaments or muscles in your ankle are strained beyond normal usage or are torn, and can vary in severity.
These types of injuries are often caused by a sudden change in direction while running or uneven ground on the field. However, overuse of these muscles can make a sprain more likely to happen as well.
Concussions occur when the brain is forcefully slammed against the inside of the skull, leading to serious brain damage. Even if the brain is lightly hit, it can still cause a concussion, so be wary in contact sports like soccer.
A concussion can be caused by a player coming into contact with another player, or by hitting the ball too hard with your head. Always be mindful of other players and be careful if you decide to go in for a head butt!
Cuts and Bruises
Just like any contact sport, athletes are likely to emerge from a game with various cuts and bruises. Whether it’s from coming into contact with another player, landing too hard on the ground, or being hit by the ball, you are probably going to have at least one small bruise at the end of a game. These are usually small and nothing to worry about.
Larger abrasions, scrapes, and cuts are less common but should be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid infection.
Along with ankle injuries, knee injuries are some of the most common ways to get hurt in soccer. Torn muscles aren’t uncommon, especially around an area as delicate as the knee.
Broken and dislocated bones also aren’t unheard of in soccer. If a player makes a sudden turn and loses their footing or kicks the ball without good form, they can cause their knee to dislodge itself from its proper place. Serious knee injuries like this will require immediate hospitalization.
Along the same vein, ACL injuries are another common soccer injury. The ACL is a ligament that is located behind the knee and is a crucial ligament. It can often become overextended and torn, especially in soccer, since the legs are in near-constant motion.
Just like other knee injuries, ACL injuries can be caused by poor footing or sudden changes in direction. However, even just hitting the ligament the wrong way can cause it to snap. Quickly slowing down can strain the ligament as well.
Knee protection is crucial while playing sports like soccer. Investing in a knee injury brace for soccer is a great way to keep yourself moving during the game. They can be used not only for recovering after an injury, but they can help prevent an injury from happening in the first place!
Torn Leg Muscles/Ligaments
The ACL isn’t the only ligament that can be torn or damaged while playing soccer. Muscles in the calf and thigh area can also become overused and strained during a game, leading to tears or sprains in your upper legs.
Your legs aren’t the only things that can get injured. Your hips are also at risk of being broken or bruised. Damage usually occurs in the soft tissue of your hips and pelvis, such as muscle tears, cuts, and bruises.
Running out in the sun for extended periods of time can lead you to develop heat-related injuries. This includes heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, as well as sunburns.
Sunburns are the least dangerous of heat-related illnesses and will fix themselves over time. Of course, you should still use plenty of sunscreen for a game as a precaution.
Heat cramps are a mild heat illness but can become more serious if left unchecked. Just as they sound, heat cramps are a specific type of muscle cramp caused by overexposure to heat without enough hydration.
These will lead to heat exhaustion with enough time; the body will start to wear down from a lack of water and require time to rest and recover. You will feel extremely fatigued and dizzy at this stage. If you notice yourself becoming hot and tired, you should get into the shade immediately and drink plenty of fluids.
If heat exhaustion is left untreated, the body will eventually shut down and go into heatstroke. The body’s temperature will skyrocket with recorded temperatures as high as 104 degrees and will be unable to cool itself down.
How to Prevent Serious Common Soccer Injuries
There are plenty of ways that you can prevent yourself from getting injured playing soccer. Invest in high-quality protective gear for your knees, shoulders, elbows, and chest, and get good cleats that can grip the ground well for sudden directional changes. Be aware of your surroundings while playing as well to prevent any unnecessary physical contact with other players.
Of course, drink plenty of water and energy drinks while playing and rest when you need to! Pushing yourself too hard will make it more likely for you to be injured, so listen to your body.
Common soccer injuries may be easy to get, but they are also easy to prevent! Keep yourself safe during your next game by remembering these injuries and prevention methods, and have fun!
Have you ever been injured while playing soccer or another sport? What was your experience like?
Continue reading our blog for more helpful sports tips, and don’t forget to share this article with other athletes to help spread awareness about common soccer injuries!