Soccer-Related Injuries: Staying Safe on the Field
Jun 18, 2019
The game of soccer has been a common and loved sport for many years, especially in households with children and young adults. Most of us have heard of the common term “bumblebee soccer” when watching adolescents play. This term is referring to how the kids will swarm around the ball, all trying their hardest to be involved in the action.
As they progress and begin to understand the nature of the game, the intensity and demand of the sport increases as well. During this time, it is crucial to pay attention to different aches and pains that may be lingering longer than normal and watch out for signs of overtraining.
Soccer can be a year-round sport, meaning not a lot of time for rest and recovery between seasons. Due to this, it is important for kids to listen to their bodies. There are certain signals to look for when trying to decide if these lingering ailments are more than just typical soreness that may require medical attention.
Because soccer is such a physically demanding sport, it is common to have players leave the field with bruises, scrapes and bumps. Most of the time, these can be treated with some basic first aid with ice, rest and bandaging. Not all symptoms and injuries are as simple to fix and might require more expert care and treatment.
Common Soccer Related Injuries
Strains: A strain is relating to injury of a muscle. Most common muscular injuries that occur during soccer are hamstring strain, quadriceps strain and hip flexor strain to name a few.
Sprains: A sprain is relating to injury of a ligament of a joint. Most common sprains occur to the ankles and knees when dealing with the lower extremities.
Tendonitis: This injury occurs when there is inflammation along the tendon of a muscle, especially during periods of rapid growth. Most common types for soccer players are patellar tendonitis and achilles tendonitis.
Apophysitis: This is inflammation or stress injury to the areas on or around growth plates in children and adolescents. Common sites for this to occur in soccer is the knee (Osgood-Schlatter disease), heel (Sever’s disease or the anterior hip.
Stress reactions/fractures: Common stress reaction or fracture sites occur along any of the lower leg bones, but most commonly the tibia or fibula.
Concussions: Direct or indirect contact of the head during collisions with other players, goalposts, the ground or when the ball strikes the head unexpectedly.
Typically, these injuries listed above require some form of rest and a strengthening program to help heal and prevent the injury from recurring. It is always best to seek out expert medical care from a sports medicine physician when your child or individual has pain not improving with rest, swelling, inability to bear weight, any type of deformity, or complains of headache or dizziness after activity. From there, you will be given appropriate medical attention and advice for proper treatment and preventative care for your young athlete to stay active and return to play.
For more information about Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, click here.
Ashley Davidson, MS, AT, ATC, joined Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports Medicine as a certified and licensed athletic trainer in 2016.
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