It is not surprising that the world’s biggest sport has become increasingly popular over the years among all age groups. Maybe it is gaining popularity because it is frequently played by over a billion people around the world as a hobby.
People who participate in soccer vary from children to adults, with varying levels of expertise. It is worthy to note that more females in increasing numbers have picked interest in the sport.
Soccer, unlike every other sport, is a great way to increase speed, sustain fitness, and build patience while experiencing the bonding of a team sport. Soccer is a reasonably safe sporting activity, with an injury rate of one-fifth to one-half which is far lower than American football.
Nonetheless, like every other sport, you can get hurt playing soccer and it is not surprising to know that soccer-related injuries are on the increase since it is becoming more fast-paced than before. Soccer involves numerous quick start-and-stop motions and physical contact as well which can lead to injury.
Although the thought of getting an injury should not dissuade you from playing soccer. Soccer players need to be conscious of the risks involved in the game and know what steps to take to stay safe while playing.
Soccer may be safer than some other fast-paced contact sports but it still records frequent falls and collisions. Injuries in soccer can range from minor cuts and bumps to more severe injuries that may need instant medical attention.
If you are one of the few that spend long periods away from the game due to injuries, this article is for you. We will explain why you keep getting injured in soccer and also the possible ways of avoiding too many injuries.
Why do I keep getting injured in soccer?
In soccer, aerobic (endurance) and anaerobic (strength) fitness are mandatory. Being balanced in both areas is one of the best practices and can reduce injuries from occurring since the sport is very demanding.
It is noteworthy that soccer players record higher rates of injuries when playing once or twice a week without involving themselves in anaerobic and aerobic activities such as jogging, weight lifting, running, elliptical training, and biking.
According to the Journal of Athletic Training, during the soccer season of the Dutch premier soccer league, a total of 286 injuries were documented which affected 62.7% of the soccer league players. A record of the overall casualties stood at 6.2 per 1000 soccer players per hour, 2.8 occurred during training while 32.8 occurred on the pitch during matches.
Recorded acute injuries stood at 68.5% while 8% of the injuries were regarded as recurrent. It was observed that 82.9% of most likely occurring injuries were located at the lower limb and also injury-time loss extended from 1 to 752 days.
To be well-adjusted in the aspect of endurance and strength, you need to carry out anaerobic conditioning—a strengthening regimen that consists of training with weights, doing yoga, and Pilates. Although often overlooked, focusing on the trunk of the body is also very vital in preventing soccer-related injuries.
Over the years, it has been observed that muscle strains, ligament sprains, contusions, and concussions amongst other injuries are the most common injuries in soccer. Let’s take a broader look at these injuries.
This is a mild injury to the brain that can cause dizziness, nausea, headache, memory loss, balance problems, and blurred vision. A concussion can occur when your head collides with another player’s head, knee, elbow, or foot, or when you accidentally hit your head on a goal post, and also when you are tackled roughly and you land on your head.
- Muscle Strains
Muscle strains are very common amongst soccer players and it occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn as a result of fatigue, improper use, or overuse of a muscle. They are most likely to occur at the back, shoulder, and hamstring (muscle behind your thigh).
- Ligament Sprains
This sprain can be described as an injury to the band of collagen tissues, that is, a ligament connecting two or more bones to a joint. When two joints are being forced suddenly outside their usual range of movement and the inflexible fibers are stretched through to an enormous range, a sprain occurs.
A contusion can also be referred to as a bruise. It is the collection of blood outside the blood vessels. It can be caused by a straight blow to the body that can cause harm to the surface of the skin and also to deeper tissues, depending on the severity of the blow.
People in the game of soccer often say injuries are part of soccer. Well, truth be told, the number of injuries does not seem to be on the decrease even though some teams in modern times have medicine and physiotherapy sessions in their team set-ups.
Sustaining injuries is one thing all soccer players dread while playing the game, a nasty injury can keep a player away from the soccer pitch for three to six months which is very bad for any soccer player’s career. Below are some dangers and threats related to getting injured while playing soccer.
Cons of getting injured in soccer
- The level of injury negatively affects a team’s success, if a team has fewer players available due to injuries, they tend to achieve fewer points on average
- Some injuries require major surgery and can also lead to early arthritis
- Constant pain can interfere with a young player’s growth and development
- Some severe injuries when obtained can prevent a player from participating in the game for the rest of the season
Injury can even lead to death if not handled rightly, just like in the case of Jean-Pierre Adams a French professional soccer player who after a ligament rupture injury went into a coma due to some mistakes made during surgery and eventually died after 39 years in a coma
Getting injured in soccer is not new as it has been in existence since the invention of the sport and will continue to be in existence in the game of soccer. Players should be extremely conscious while playing and also try to prevent getting injured or causing other players an injury.
Some of the known reasons why you keep getting injured while playing soccer includes the following:
Poor preparation before play
Some players do not prepare properly before a season commences. This causes poor performance and injury which will not only affect the player alone but also the team they play for. A player that neglects to maintain fitness by constantly warming up, stretching, and eating healthy is prone to get injuries during a game.
Sticking to a balanced fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercises, flexibility, and strength training during the off-season and being in good physical condition at the beginning of a new season increases a player’s activity level.
The use of inappropriate equipment
When the wrong sports equipment is used, there is a higher risk of injury. Wearing appropriate gear drastically reduces the chances of getting injured. It is a crucial part of soccer-related injury prevention.
Soccer game records show that lower leg injuries are most frequently caused by inadequate shin guards. Shoes having screw-in cleats are frequently associated with a high risk of injury.
Protecting yourself with the right sports gear is paramount because soccer involves many players all on the pitch at once. Thus, collisions easily occur even when you are not directly involved with the ball.
To protect your lower feet, wear shin guards and shoes with molded cleats. Shoes with screw-in cleats should only be worn when more adhesive friction is needed such as on wet fields with tall grass.
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Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Also, the use of synthetic nonabsorbent balls on wet playing fields is advised. Leather balls put players at high risk of injury when they become water-logged.
When a player continues to play even after sustaining a minor injury, it makes that injury worse. A minor stress fracture that might have healed speedily can develop into a more severe and more painful fracture that will take a longer time to heal.
Playing while injured means you will eventually get injured again. That is because you may be playing in a way that is not normal for your body in order to protect the injured part thereby putting other parts of your body at risk.
It is advised that once you notice an injury, you are to stop playing and talk to your coach or a paramedic. Then, condition your body by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure all symptoms are completely gone before returning to play.
In a case of a joint problem, the player must no longer have pain, inflammation, and must have a full range of motion and normal strength before returning to competitive matches.
In the case of a concussion, the player must not have symptoms at rest or during exercises, and they ought to be cleared by the right medical provider.
Injuries are a danger in any sport, especially fast-paced team sports like soccer that frequently involve physical contact among a large number of on-field players.
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of sustaining injuries is to focus on your physical fitness, specifically, exercises that can help strengthen the muscles which support your knees, ankles, and legs.
While accidental collisions may be hard to avoid, wearing protective gears like shin guards and headgears can go a long way in protecting a soccer player from severe injuries that may arise from such collisions. Finally, don’t neglect the importance of eating a healthy diet. Healthy food will help you to heal faster if you ever come down with an injury.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!