The aggressive nature of the soccer makes it one of the sports with highest rate of the injuries. But you can stay safe in field with these soccer injury prevention tips.
Did you know? Soccer or association football is the third most played sport in the USA. This English sport is as popular as basketball, American football, ice hockey and baseball/softball. However, it can’t be denied that injury rate associated with soccer is increasing at alarming rate. In fact, the injury rate is higher than hockey, basketball and handball. Injuries are likely to occur due to the intense physical movement, stress on the muscles and collision with other players. In short, the aggressive nature of the soccer makes the participating players vulnerable to the injuries. Knee injuries, bruises, cuts, head injuries, ankle sprains, shoulder injuries and joint injuries are common in soccer. These injuries can be traumatic in nature.
According to a report by Pediatrics, annual injury rate amongUS young soccer players rose by 111% from 1990 to 2014. The report further concludes that over 70% of those injuries were in older kids, ages 12 to 17. On the global scale, more than 100,000 injuries happen every year in soccer fields.
Most of soccer injuries can be prevented if the players employ the safety measures. Here’s how.
Prepare Yourself with Conditioning
Generally, sports injury takes place when your body is not prepared for the particular movements. It does make sense to opt for the preseason conditioning session. Most of the session focus on the endurance and strength of your legs and core so that you’ll be ready for the jumping and kicking. Needless to say it will prepare your body parts for the “intense body movements” in the game.
Do Stretching and Warm Up Before The Game:
You are simply prone to injuries with stiff muscles, even after the game. Therefore, opt for warm up, stretching and cool down session to ease your tight muscles. Here are some common workouts for that:
- Stretching of hamstrings, ankles, hips and quads for practice session and match.
- Slow jog for a quick warm up.
- Stretches and slow jogging after the game.
- Cool down session involving stretching and slow jog after the game.
Protect Your Knees:
Knee injuries are the most common soccer injury. The injury has ended the career of many players in the past. It is likely to occur at the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament and to the cartilage of the knee. The sings of knee injuries are imbalances, weakness and instability in other parts of the body. Even worse, a weak glute can trigger the collapse of the knee. This is why you should wear knee protective gears and regularly perform the knees strength workouts.
Wear Protective Gears and Equipment:
Protective gears are like your armor. Shin guard protects your tibia from pain and bruises while cleats are essential for foot protection and grip over the slippery fields. Make sure your gears fit properly as loose one may lead to wounds and incorrect running and kicking.
Padded elbows and padded thighs are the lifesaver for the goalkeepers while diving. Gloves are equally important for goalkeeper’s fingers and hands.
A Fair Play is Must:
Don’t restore to foul or rough play as it may make you prone to the injuries. Always follow the rules to minimize the chances of the contact related injuries.
Take Rest When you are Injured:
Jumping into the game without complete recovery can make your injury even worse.
With the help of these safety tips, you not only protect yourself in the soccer field but also can avoid injuries to the others.
How to Treat Common Soccer Injuries?
Heat Cramps and Heat Exhaustion:
Go to a cool place and take cool drinks. Stretch and massage the affected muscle. Call 911 if player refuses water, vomits or if level of consciousness changes.
Ankle injury can be anything from a sprain to damaged tendons and blood vessels. For a minor sprain, ice compression or sprays are generally used. However, don’t remove shoe and sock until ice is available. You can also try to “walk it off”.
Stretch and massage to achieve relaxation. Warm towel/ heating pad and pain relief creamsare also beneficial for the tense and stiff muscles. Or you can use numbing cream to get instant relief.
Place direct pressure over the wound to control bleeding. To minimize the risk of infection, the handling person should wear gloves before and after treating an open wound. Call emergency helpline if the bleeding is severe.
When to See the Physician Immediately?
In case of severe injuries given below, it is better to see the physician as soon as possible.
- Knee Injury
- Head and Neck Injury
- Broken Bones
The special precautions should be taken until you get medical assistance.