Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and in Canada millions of people play every year. In fact, in terms of numbers soccer is the nation’s most popular sport, with nearly 3 million people participating every year.
Soccer builds teamwork, cardiovascular performance, and develops balance, agility, coordination and core strength. It is enjoyed by young and old, and people of all body sizes, but like all sports soccer can take its toll - leading to serious injuries.
Soccer injuries can be broken down into two categories:
Bruises, scrapes, breaks or fractures caused by kicks, head-butts, trips, or falls.
Muscle, ligament and joint injuries
These injuries can result from over-use of the muscles, joints, and tendons. Such injuries include, shin splints, patellar tendinitis (knee pain), ankle pain and even stress fractures.
Other common soccer injuries include pulled muscles, twisted joints, tendon injuries caused by overuse, twists, and falls.
Physiotherapy helps prevent soccer injuries
Physiotherapy is the most effective way of dealing with a soccer injury, but don’t wait until after an injury occurs.
There isn’t much you can do when it comes to impact injuries, but often preventative physiotherapy can make all the difference when it comes to strains, twists, and sprains caused by overuse or strain. How?
Physiotherapy builds strength
Physiotherapy strengthens muscles, which helps prevent fatigue during soccer matches. Muscle fatigue (in addition to being a painful condition in its own right) can lead to greater strain on joints, and more laboured movement which results in sprains, twists and ligament damage.
Physiotherapy builds flexibility
Physiotherapy also increases flexibility, which is another crucial factor in preventing injury. Greater flexibility diminishes the risk of pulled muscles, strains and ligament damage while running, or stretching for the ball.
Your physio appointment
The first step towards preventing soccer injuries with physiotherapy is to have an assessment done. You do not need a doctor’s referral to begin physiotherapy, but you should be familiar with your medical history. Be prepared to arrive early in order to complete paperwork.
Once you arrive for your first session your physical condition will be evaluated. Your physiotherapist will assess your strength, range of motion, posture and balance. Book your assessment now.
After your assessment your physiotherapist will work with you to create a customised program which may include:
General tips to prevent soccer injuries
In addition to preventing soccer injuries with physio, make sure to keep these tips in mind: