Now that world cup is done and soccer season ramping up soon (although recreational soccer is year around in Santa Cruz) what better time to discuss soccer injuries and the ways to prevent them or treat them. The most common injuries are: sprains, head injuries, tendinitis, and fractures.
The 3 P’s are the best way to properly address soccer injuries with preparation, prevention and protection.
Preparation is the first P.
Soccer injuries can be avoided if the athlete maintains fitness, does active stretches and hydrates. Research shows that the best warm-up for soccer players is doing a single leg squat. That’s squatting with one leg. When a player squats with one leg up it activates the ankle to be more aware of its surroundings, and warms up your muscles.
Prevention is the second P.
Prevention means making sure the field is kept in ideal condition not playing with gopher holes and that your shoes are in good condition and laced correctly.
Protection is the third and final P.
Protection is the most intuitive but often overlooked means of preventing soccer injuries. That means using proper cleats, wearing shin guards, and gloves.
After game day there is one last aspect to cover which is recovery. How you treat your body after a hard workout is equally as important as how you treat your body before a workout. We recommend of course drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water so your body is well hydrated and processing lactic acid as fast as it can. Along with water we recommend taking natural anti-inflammatory supplements. Our favorites are Zyflamend, Celadrin, and Wobenzym. Natural anti-inflammatories help you process inflammation more efficiently resulting in shorter recovery time for your muscles and less aches & pains.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the most common soccer injuries.
Sprains and Strains:
These usually involve the knee or ankle joints. Sprains are extremely common in soccer and most often occur as a result of sudden stopping movements or placing your foot wrong. I’ve recently done an article on the treatment of ankle sprains in particular if you’d like more detail on the treatment.
Including too many headers, but mostly head-on collisions are highly likely to result in a concussion. Luckily, we now know of some natural ways to help the brain heal faster.
Tendonitis is an inflammation response to, usually, an overuse injury. The best treatment for tendonitis is rest and natural anti-inflammatories. If you must use NSAIDs remember to do so no longer than 10 days.
Collisions with other players or severe sprains can result in painful fractures. Fractures require a much longer recovery and, in some cases, require surgery. Remember that with DNFT chiropractic we are able to adjust hairline fractures to speed up the recovery and help the area heal correctly.
Those are our tips for now! Have fun and be safe out there!