What are the most common soccer injuries?
- Knee Injuries
- Ankle Sprains
- Shin Splints
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Groin Pulls
- Hamstring Injuries
- Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spurs
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Stress Fractures
1. Knee Injuries
Aside from basic cuts and bruises, knee injuries are the most common type of injury in soccer. It makes sense since the majority of soccer is kicking the ball and running. It’s especially tough since players have to quickly adjust to follow the ball, putting a lot of stress on their knees.
If a player notices some knee pain, they should rest and ice the area. Otherwise, it could get worse as a strain or ACL tear. Additionally, players should continually stretch their legs and wear a brace in case they have frequent knee issues.
2. Ankle Sprains
The next most common soccer injury is an ankle sprain. These are common for similar reasons to knee injuries. Soccer athletes do a lot of running and make quick direction changes which makes it easy for them to twist or roll their ankles. Ankle sprains can be different levels of severity depending on the injury.
If a player sprains their ankle, they should rest, elevate, and ice it until it feels better. If the sprain doesn’t get better after this, they should consider seeing a doctor in case of a more serious injury. Additionally, players can wear ankle braces to prevent future problems.
3. Shin Splints
The third most common injury is a less serious one. However, anyone who has ever had shin splints, knows how uncomfortable they can be. A soccer player will notice they have shin splints when their shins hurt and they have trouble lifting their toes.
Since shin splints make it very uncomfortable to run and kick the ball, players should rest if they feel any shin pain. To avoid this injury, athletes should be careful when choosing new shoes and stretching before both practice and games.
4. Achilles Tendonitis
Next on the list is another common injury that results from overworking the body. Achilles tendonitis is a frequent injury for soccer players. The Achilles tendon is what connects your heel to your calf muscles. It often gets overworked from running in soccer games and other running sports.
If a player has Achilles tendonitis, they should rest, elevate, and ice the area as soon as they notice a problem. To prevent this injury, athletes should make sure they have good shoes with comfortable soles. Additionally, players should make sure they increase their workouts in small increments only.
5. Groin Pulls
A pulled groin is another common injury. This one is unfortunately very unpleasant to have. Groin pulls are standard in soccer though because the groin is constantly being stretched during the game as players run, kick, and slide to reach the ball. These can all lead to the groin getting pulled or even torn.
If an athlete suffers from a pulled groin, they should rest for a while to let the area heal. Additionally, it’s recommended for athletes to take ice baths to help a pulled groin. In some severe injuries, the player may need surgery to completely recover.
Unfortunately, concussions are a very common injury among soccer players. In most cases, concussions are received when a player tries heading the ball but instead hits another player’s head or the ground. Concussions are a very serious injury since it impacts the brain.
To prevent this injury, players should take lots of precautions when going to head a ball. They should hold out their arms to create some space with other players. Soccer players should also never hit the ball with their temples. Lastly, they should know when it’s too dangerous to attempt a header.
7. Hamstring Injuries
Another common issue for soccer players is hamstring injuries. The hamstring is the muscles and tendons on the back of the thigh. Most soccer players suffer from a strain or tear but in extreme cases, the hamstring can rupture.
Athletes will know they’ve suffered from this injury once they start feeling pain in the area or even hearing a pop. To prevent this injury, players should always warm up before playing as well as stretch the hamstring muscles. Additionally, players should work on strengthening the area to prevent future problems.
8. Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spurs
Heel spurs are another common injury that impacts most soccer players at some point. Plantar Fasciitis, or heel spurs as they are more commonly known, is an injury affecting the heels that is most prominent in the mornings. As the day goes on, the pain subdues typically.
To prevent heel spurs from happening, players should gradually warm up to more physical activity as well as wear comfortable shoes while playing soccer. If heel spurs still happen though, it will usually go away on its own but stretches can help speed up the recovery process.
9. Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Next on the list is Iliotibial Band Syndrome or IT Band Syndrome. This syndrome is also common for soccer players as they tend to overwork this area of the leg. Your IT band goes from your hip to below your knee. As soccer players run during a game, they tend to create a lot of friction between the band and their bones. This friction causes the area to hurt and sometimes become inflamed.
The preventative measures for this injury are similar to the other ones mentioned earlier. Players shouldn’t overwork themselves, replace their shoes as they get worn, and always warm up and stretch.
10. Stress Fractures
Stress fractures occur when an area either gets overworked or repeated contact occurs in the same spot. With soccer, this injury is prominent as athletes continually run a lot and tend to overwork the same areas in their bodies.
If a player receives a stress fracture they should rest for anywhere from two to eight weeks depending on the extent of the injury. They should also apply ice to the area to soothe the pain. To prevent this from happening, players should not overwork themselves, wear comfortable shoes, and warm up and stretch before playing.