While Cristiano Ronaldo may hit the ground at the slightest touch from an opponent, studies have shown that soccer actually has a high injury rate and injury percentage. On average, soccer players pick up more injuries than people involved in many sports, such as field hockey, volleyball, basketball, rugby, cycling, judo, boxing, and swimming. Most soccer injuries occur to the lower extremities, especially the ankle. Here’s a list of common soccer injuries and how to treat them.
Lower Extremity Injuries
Sprains and strains are by far the most common injuries for soccer players, and the severity of these varies. On the more serious end of the scale, cartilage tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains in the knee are most likely to require surgery. There’s also the risk of sprained or twisted ankles which need medical attention and could require bed rest to heal.
Although the majority of injuries are picked up from contact between players, injuries from overuse also occur. Shin splints (soreness in the calf), patellar tendinitis (pain in the knee), and Achilles tendinitis (pain in the back of the ankle) are some of the conditions soccer players are susceptible to from overuse. Players are also prone to “groin pulls and thigh and calf muscle strains.” Stress fractures could occur when the bone becomes weak due to overuse. Because it can be difficult to distinguish stress fractures from a less-serious, soft-tissue injury, it’s important to seek medical treatment if the pain doesn’t improve.
Upper Extremity Injuries
Upper extremity injuries tend to occur less often than lower, due to the decreased emphasis on the upper body while playing. Sprained and fractured wrists usually result from falls or player-to-player contact. Although less frequent, dislocated shoulder injuries can also occur.
Because players use their heads to direct the ball, concussions are a definite risk, as are cuts and abrasions.
How to Treat an Injury
If players are injured, they should be pulled off the pitch immediately until they have been evaluated and treated. With minor injuries, the players often can be back in the game after a short period of rest, ice, and elevation. Overuse injuries will usually be treated with rest, during which the player might be allowed to perform some activities with modifications. Do not work through pain, especially for stress fractures, knee ligament injuries, and any injury to the head or neck. Contact your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of injuries that do not improve after a few days of rest. When dealing with a concussion, hospitalization may be required, followed by an extended period of rest.
Injured Yourself While Playing Soccer?
Do you enjoy playing soccer? Have you injured yourself while playing soccer? If you answered yes to the two questions, you should seek help from a qualified sports chiropractor.
If you’re a resident of Charlotte, Dr. Alec Khlebopros can help. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Alec Khlebopros has been recognized as Charlotte’s best chiropractor on both Facebook and BizVotes. Contact us today to set up a consultation, and start easing your pain properly and effectively.