Keeping your body injury-free is soccer goals (pun intend). However, no matter how much effort you put into injury prevention, life still happens and so do accidents. When the unavoidable occurs, it’s essential to know your Beacon team of experts is here to help. That starts with knowing common soccer injuries and how to avoid them.
To start, soccer injuries are generally either acute or cumulative.
- Acute injuries are often caused by a fall, blow, or contact with other players.
- Cumulative injuries are caused by repetitive stress on a muscle, joint, or connective tissue. Associated aches, pain, and physical impairment worsen over time.
Biggest Soccer Injury Victim? 3 at the Knee.
The award for the body part that’s most likely to be hurt during a soccer injury goes to the knee. Because soccer requires players to stop and shift directions quickly, things easily go wrong at this joint. The required explosive, spontaneous movement places rotational stress on the knees and their ligaments, which can cause sprains and tears.
These ligaments include:
- Anterior cruciate (ACL) at the front of the knee
- Lateral collateral (LCL) on the outside of the knee
- Medial collateral (MCL) on the inside of the knee
- Posterior cruciate (PCL) at the back of the knee
COMMON SOCCER KNEE INJURIES
1) Cruciate Ligament Injury: This type of injury does not always cause pain, but typically causes a loud “pop” when it happens. Pain and swelling will develop within 24 hours along with a loss of range of motion.
2) ACL-Related Injury: The most common knee injury among soccer players. Ligaments are less retractable than muscles or tendons, which makes them more exposed to damage.
3) Meniscus Tear: Another frequent soccer victim is the meniscus. A C-shaped piece of cartilage, it cushions the space between the femur and tibia. It is often the result of decelerating, pivoting, sudden impact or twisting.
When there is an injury to the knee, it will be diagnosed as Grade 1 (mild sprain), Grade 2 (partial tear), or Grade 3 (complete tear).
2 More Common Soccer Injuries
4) Achilles Tendonitis: A chronic injury caused by overuse and felt as pain in the back of the ankle. The repetitive and sudden movements used specifically for soccer can eventually cause this injury over time.
5) Achilles Tendon Rupture: A partial or complete tear of the Achilles tendon is often accompanied by a popping sound. Ruptures often occur during fast, explosive movements.
Prevent Soccer Injury
As during any physical activity, there are preventative measures you can take to help reduce the risk of injury, such as:
- Warm up for at least 30 minutes before playing
- Wear proper protective gear
- Take time to heal after an injury no matter how seemingly minor
When You’re Sidelined by an Injury
An orthopedic specialist can help when soccer players have the misfortunate of sustaining an injury. You’ll find your Cincinnati sports medicine experts at Beacon are at the ready to help get you healed as fully, quickly, and efficiently as your body will allow. We know you’re anxious to get back on the field, but we want to help you keep you there by properly treating your injury. Schedule an online appointment today.