2 Common Injuries All Soccer Players Should Be Aware Of

It is no wonder that soccer is the world's most popular sport, since it is a fun and exciting way to stay fit. However, whether you are playing casually with friends, or in an elite performance program, soccer does bring with it the risk of injury. No matter what level you are playing at, it is important to understand these risks and how they can be managed to ensure you can continue enjoying the game.

Hamstring Strain

What is it?

The hamstrings are extremely important in soccer. The hamstrings are the groups of muscles at the back of the thighs that are heavily involved in explosive movements such as sprinting and kicking. However, such movements can put excessive strain on the muscles, causing them to tear. You will feel this as a sharp, excruciating pain at the back of the thigh, which will make it very difficult to move the leg. 

Treatment and Recovery

A hamstring tear is a serious injury that can require months of rehabilitation. Immediately after the injury, the best thing you can do is apply ice and compression to the area. This will help reduce inflammation and internal bleeding, as well as limit the pain.

You should then consult a specialist in sports injury physical therapy who will be able to guide you through the rehabilitation. The physiotherapist will help you work to stretch and strengthen the muscles. As the hamstring heals, you will begin to move on to more intensive activity and soccer drills.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

What is it? 

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the band of tissue that supports the knee joint, allowing it to twist. However, when excessive stress is placed on the ACL, it can tear or rupture. This may be the result of an awkward landing or strong tackle, which may put unusual pressure on the knee joint and ACL.

Treatment and Recovery

ACL injuries are one of the most serious injuries a soccer player can suffer. Usually, an ACL injury will keep you out of the game for 6 to 9 months. Due to the seriousness of the injury, it is important you consult a physiotherapist (or doctor) as soon as possible. Physical therapy in the treatment of ACL injuries will begin with methods such as electric muscle stimulation, hydrotherapy and specialised stretching exercises. When the therapist deems you have made significant progression, you will begin more intensive activities that put increased stress on the ACL. 

For more information, talk to a physiotherapist as a location like Spokane Sports & Physical Therapy.