Soccer is a popular fall sport for many athletes. It is a competitive activity that requires fitness, athleticism, and stamina. As with most, if not all, team sports, soccer teaches players to rely on others, communicate, and work together toward their goals—or just the goal in general. Although soccer is an excellent sport for being active and team-building, it does come with several risks. These risks include tendonitis, strains, stress fractures, sprains, and dislocations. However, these injuries can be diagnosed and treated by an orthopaedic doctor. While there is a risk, don’t let that keep you from playing the game.
Tendonitis is the flaring of tendons after repetitive movements or a sudden injury. In soccer, tendonitis is a common knee injury due to the number of repetitive motions of running up and down the field. Some sports will refer to tendonitis as “runner’s knee,” or “tennis elbow.” Tendonitis is often seen to develop under conditions that involve awkward positioning, overhead reaching, or vibration. However, any repeated motion can develop tendonitis over time. Tendonitis, in its basic form, can be treated with simple pain medications, ice and rest. For larger tendonitis issues, an orthopaedic doctor can help and even perform surgery.
Similar to tendonitis, a strain is an injury that affects a muscle or tendon. This is also often caused by overuse and lack of proper rest and care. Strains for soccer players are common in the groin, neck, and wrist areas and can be caused by simply overstretching. A strain may cause a player to feel weak in the target area, or experience cramping, swelling or spasming. Orthopaedics can help identify if there is a larger problem at risk, like a fracture, or they will help create a treatment plan which may include physical therapy.
Stress fractures in soccer are caused by athletes doing too much activity on worn-out muscles. When the pressure becomes too much for the muscle to bear, it moves to the bones and fractures. Consistent running and kicking without much rest make the bones in feet and the bone on the outside of calves prone to injury. Stress fractures can be difficult to identify, but your orthopaedic doctor can help with existing conditions, diagnose a problem, and outline a healing plan.
In soccer, players are at risk of ankle and wrist sprains. While shooting for a goal, landing after taking a header, or falling after a collision, you may stretch or tear multiple ligaments, thus causing a sprain. An orthopaedic doctor will x-ray the site to identify how many tears there were and if it was partial or complete. Sprains may be treated with a cast or boot to keep patients from further injury.
Dislocations are often seen as a result of a contact sport and sports that involve a fast-moving ball. Soccer includes both. Common dislocations in soccer are in the ankles, knees, hips, toes, and even fingers, especially for goalies. Orthopaedic doctors can help treat dislocations by putting them back in place, providing a splint or sling, physical therapy, or even surgery.
Take Your Shot
Every sport comes with risks. But, each sport also comes with the opportunity to become a better leader, player, and athlete. Sports teach players health, responsibility, and safety. With the help of an orthopaedic doctor like those at Summit Orthopaedics, you can learn the best ways to practice safely and prevent injuries.