Soccer Related Injuries: What Parents Should Know

Over 1.6 million soccer-related injuries are seen each year by emergency room doctors. Parents, as well as coaches, need to remember that treatment for young soccer players should differ from that for older players. Young players need a longer recovery period. There should always be built-in recovery time following games. Usually two or three days are sufficient.

Before any practice or game, players should thoroughly warm up, which is a good way to avoid most sports injuries. This includes proper stretching exercises that prepare the body for the intense workout known as the game of soccer.

What type of injuries can a parent expect to see if his child plays soccer? Injuries to the legs or feet are the most common.

  • Ankle sprains are fairly common and result from stretched or torn ligaments around the joint.
  • Blisters cause foot pain and result from wearing the wrong-sized shoes.
  • Shin splints, or pain in the front of the leg, occur when the muscles or bones of the leg suffer extra stress. Excessive jarring can cause the shins to ache.
  • Different types of knee injuries are possible. ACL/PCL, MCL/LCL, or meniscus tears can result from even the simplest of plays or drills.
  • The Achilles tendon can be a real pain in the heel. The tenderness centers in the back of the ankle.
  • Stress fractures occur but can be hard to identify. Kicking the ball improperly or even landing incorrectly can cause a break.

Arm injuries do not occur as often, but in some instances, this type of injury can cause multiple problems.

  • Wrist sprains and fractures may arise from added stress or a break.
  • Shoulder separations usually affect goalies. Most instances of this injury result when a player collides with the goal post.

Head trauma usually is the consequence of a collision on the field.

  • Concussions, caused by a direct hit or sudden jolt to the head, should be carefully monitored.
  • While relatively few deaths have occurred from a soccer injury, parents should be aware that it has happened. In most cases, players either suffered a head injury after running into a goal or another player or experienced cardiac problems of some nature.

Parents need to understand the basic workings of any athletic endeavor their child participates in. Knowledge of potential injuries will keep parents informed about the risks associated with the activity.

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