Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world to not only watch but to also play. Consequently, this also means soccer accounts for a lot of sports-related injuries. Here is a list of the most commonly occurring soccer injuries, and how they are treated.
Spraining of the ankle is the most common soccer injury out there. More specifically, inversion sprains. Inversion sprains are when the outer ligaments in the foot have been overstretched. Sprains often happen when the player makes a sudden stop or turn they foot in an awkward position, which in turn stretches the ligaments too far. For minor sprains, the recommended treatment requires simple home care. Avoid putting any pressure or strain on your sprained ankle and keep it elevated when possible. Periodically ice your ankle to reduce swelling, along with compressing your ankle. Compressing your ankle not only reduces swelling, but will also help you to keep your ankle immobilized. For more serious sprains that give excessive pain or do not heal on your own, a doctor visit is required.
Another common injury in soccer is a strained or inflamed Achilles, also known as Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon connects your leg muscles to your heel bone, which is responsible for helping you push off the ground and gain speed quickly while running. An athlete in soccer can easily strain their tendon by overworking it while sprinting, or by wearing soccer cleats. The treatment for tendon strains is similar to sprains. Get rest, ice the area, and keep your leg elevated. You may also consider going in to see your doctor to get medication to reduce the pain and the swelling. The Achilles tendon is slow to heal, so going in to get professional treatment can help ease discomfort and inflammation.
Stress fractures for soccer players are most often found in the tibia and fibula, which are the two bones found in the lower leg. These fractures usually are from over-training, running on the hard ground, or wearing ill-fitting shoes. Those suffering from a stress fracture will get pain in the bone area and experience extreme tenderness and possibly swelling. The treatments consist of wearing devices such as a boot or a brace, or using crutches as support. However, a low-risk stress fracture can most likely heal on its own and may not require any devices.
The ACL, anterior cruciate ligament, is another injury seen often in soccer. The ACL is at risk of being injured when a player lands from a jump or is hit with force by an opposing player. If a ligament is torn, the person suffering will notice that their knee will buckle out from under them. A torn ACL can heal without surgery, as physical therapy is one option. However, ACL reconstruction surgery is one possibility you may face if your ACL is torn while playing soccer.
While soccer is a relatively safe sport, as there is typically little physical contact compared to other popular sports like football, there is always a risk of injury. These common injuries should be looked for. Always see your doctor if you notice unusual pain or if you think you may be suffering from a sports-related injury.