Soccer is a high impact sport that is rather safe due to the protective equipment mandated during play. However, injuries still do occur to players and some of them can take up to a year to recover. Soccer is a fast paced game that requires frequent change of directions, sudden stops and twisting actions. Incorrect placement of the feet can cause ligaments to tear when attempting to change direction. Let’s discuss about the most common injuries incurred in soccer.
Muscular strains are due to the over pulling of a certain muscle or the over contraction of a stiff muscle when it has not fully warmed up. Warm ups and cool downs are extremely important tools to help prepare your muscles for the things that are about to come. Muscle groups that are frequently utilised are the most prone to strains. These include the thigh muscles, quadriceps muscles and hamstring muscles.
Muscular sprains on the other hand involve injuries relating to connective tissues such as the ligament. The role of the ligament is to provide stability to the lower body. As mentioned above, soccer requires frequently change of direction and sudden stops. If the playing surface is poor, the risk of injuries is significantly raised. A sudden change in direction with one of the foot firmly planted in the ground will result in a ligament tear, possibly accompanied by injuries to the meniscus as well. Proper warm up prior to the game can help to reduce the risk slightly but this is not significant.
Soccer is an all rounded game that involves the use of various parts of the body, including the head. Although not allowed, some players still tend to raise their foot high while challenging for the ball. If you are using your head to head the ball and a high foot with metal studs is coming towards you, chances are that you will be at the suffering end! Another scenario would be an attempt on goal with a header, only to be thwarted by the goalkeeper’s punch, resulting in head injuries. Minor ones would be some laceration while serious ones can lead to a possible concussion.
The part of the body used most in the game is the lower body and thus, the risks of fractures are higher with these body parts. Challenging for the ball and a strong desire to win can lead to undesired effects. Remember in 2002 where David Beckham almost missed the World Cup due to a metatarsal fracture?
Soccer is a high impact game that is on the same level as basketball and rugby but with a much lower injury risk due to the strict rules. However, this does not mean that you have a low chance of injury as the saying goes, the ball is round. Winning is important but not at the expense of yourself.