Tips for Preventing Soccer Injuries
On an international level, soccer (or football) is the most popular sport in the world. In the United States, soccer may be the least followed sport-- that is, until the World Cup™ began. In a surge of patriotism, Americans by the hundreds have a sudden interest in soccer. Since more people are watching soccer, more people are playing soccer! Here are some tips to help prevent soccer-related injuries while on the field.
- Maintain a good level of general physical fitness. Soccer requires lots of running for long periods of time, so make sure your body is prepared for that level of cardio.
- Warm up with simple exercises like jumping jacks and make sure to stretch. Cold muscles are reportedly more susceptible to injury than muscles that are properly warmed up.
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after the match.
- After practice or matches, make sure you cool down. Walk a lap around the field and make sure to stretch one last time to help your muscles relax.
Wear the Right Gear
- Wear shin guards. Getting kicked by an opponents cleat in the shin or knee can cause major injuries.
- Wear proper cleats that are laced comfortably and fit well.
Check Out the Field
- Is the field in good condition? Are there any holes/obstacles on the field?
- Remove any garbage or debris from the field before the match begins.
- If it is raining, make sure that you're using a synthetic soccer ball. Traditional leather soccer balls can become water logged, and you may injure your foot or ankle if you're not anticipating the unusual weight of the ball.
Know When to Go
- If you injure yourself while playing, don't force yourself to return to the game if you are in too much pain. If there is excessive swelling in your knee or ankle, it is best to sit the rest of the match out or pursue immediate medical attention.
- If you have hit your head and may have a suspected concussion, do not return to the field under any circumstances.
Know When to Take a Break
- Even if soccer is your new favorite sport, its best to take a break from time to time. Playing one sport year round can put repetitive strain on certain joints of the body, and may result in overuse injuries.
- Only play for one team or league. Athletes that spread themselves too thin and are involved in multiple leagues are also at a higher risk for overuse injuries.
Sports-Related Injury Treatment in Napa and Vacaville
To learn more about how to prevent sports-related injuries, contact us today. You can reach Dr. Stephen J. Franzino directly at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville. We look forward to meeting you!