Soccer, like many other sports, puts you at risk for injury. Most soccer injuries involve the lower part of the body, mainly the ankles and legs. Injuries come from overuse, landing incorrectly, sudden movements or even an encounter with another player. If your child gets injured, it is important to know what to do next. Read on to learn more about some of the most common injuries and how to treat them.
Knee injuries occur when ligaments or joints twist. The two most common knee injuries are ACL and MCL tears. Symptoms of these include swelling, pain, loss of full range of motion and tenderness. Both ACL and MCL injuries need to be treated by an orthopedic doctor.
Shin splints are caused by stress in the tibia, or shin bone. They typically are caused when a person is overusing their shins by repetitively pounding their legs on hard surfaces. The most common symptoms are shins being tender to touch, sharp pain in the tibia and the pain being heightened during activity. It can be treated through rest from activity and icing to relieve pain. Another way to prevent shin splints is to wear the proper footwear to ensure all parts of the legs are supported.
Strains and Sprains
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. There are three levels of strain: grade one, grade two and grade three. Grade one is mild and can heal quickly on its own. Grade two is a partial tear and takes some time to heal. Grade three is a complete tear and takes months to heal. Some common symptoms include sudden sharp pain, bruising and swelling. Grade one and two sprains don’t normally need medical care and can be treated with rest. If the pain, bruising or swelling doesn’t go away then it may be time to see a doctor. Grade three is the worst kind of strain and needs to be treated by a medical professional.
A sprain is most often seen in ankles and is a twisting that injures the ligament. The most common symptoms are immediate pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty walking. Usually, a sprained ankle can be treated with rest, elevation and ice. If the symptoms persist, see a doctor.
Concussions are difficult to identify but are some of the most dangerous injuries. In soccer, concussions are often caused by a collision with another player or hitting your head on the ground after a fall. Some common symptoms may include a headache, confusion, dizziness and excessive fatigue. If you suspect a head injury, you need to immediately seek help from a professional.
Pulled muscles occur when you strain or stretch your muscle too far. The most common muscles that get injured in soccer are the groin, hamstring and calf. Common symptoms of pulled muscles include limited mobility, tenderness and discomfort. Pulled muscles can be best treated with RICE, or rest, ice, compression and elevation.
- Complete a full warm up before practice or a game.
- Wear correct footwear, shin guards and uniform.
- Take rest seriously.
- If you get injured, take time to recover and don’t push yourself too hard.