Soccer is by far one of the most popular sports in the world. “(It) is the sport played most consistently around the world. It’s not sectioned off or dominated by one particular country. According to FIFA’s most recent Big Count survey, there are 265 million players actively involved in soccer around the world, roughly about 4 percent of the world’s population,” according to the Huffington Post.
Soccer is not only fun, but also beneficial. It improves muscle tone; is great for the cardiovascular system; promotes flexibility, endurance and strength; boosts bone strength; and is an excellent form of cross training.
While soccer is enjoyable for many to play and/or watch, it can be incredibly energy-consuming and may cause injuries if not played with proper form and without wearing the right gear. Read on to learn physiotherapist-approved tips for staying healthy and safe during soccer season.
Common Soccer Injuries
Soccer players can sustain a number of injuries. Here are a few examples:
- Soft-tissue contusions (bruises).
- Overuse injuries (stress fractures).
- Knee injuries.
- Injury to a player’s concentration, attention and memory (caused by “heading” the ball).
- Eye injuries.
- Injuries to the mouth and teeth.
None of these injuries are anything a physiotherapist hasn’t seen before. In most cases of a soccer injury, a physiotherapist can help.
10 Physiotherapist-Approved Tips for Avoiding Soccer Injuries
Steering clear of injury during soccer season is easy to do when you implement these tips suggested by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association:
- “Ensure you have a good balance of practice time, game time, and days off to prevent overuse injuries.”
- Warm up before a game or practice.
- Work on your flexibility.
- “Check the pitch – make sure playing fields are well-maintained and free of hazards.”
- If you want to avoid mouth and teeth injuries, use mouth guards.
- Wearing head and eye gear is vital as it can help prevent major injuries.
- Wear shin guards to protect soft tissue.
- Play fair, not rough.
- “Don’t play with severe or persistent pain – minor aches and pains lasting up to 48 hours are acceptable, but severe pain or difficulty walking may signal a more serious problem.”
- Use arch supports to prevent foot injuries or discomfort.
Taking these relatively simple measures will go a long way in preventing painful injuries.
What to Do If You Get a Soccer Injury
If you do happen to get injured playing soccer, don’t panic. Instead, get to a physiotherapy office as soon as possible. A physiotherapist can address your injury immediately and help you start the healing process. This will ensure you are able to play soccer for many more seasons to come.
Soccer players in Winnipeg: Feel free to contact Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics with questions or concerns about staying safe and healthy.