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Injuries in Soccer

Injuries in soccer are usually mild–sprains, strains, and contusions (bruises)–and mostly affect the lower extremities. The most common site of injury is the ankle, followed closely by the knee. Injuries can be prevented if players wear shin guards, warm up before play, and follow the rules of the game. Changes in equipment can also greatly enhance injury prevention efforts.

Always take the time to warm up and stretch, especially your hips, knees, thighs, and calves. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Wear shin guards to help protect your lower legs. Records have shown that most players who sustained lower leg injuries were not protected by adequate shin guards.

Wear shoes with molded cleats or ribbed soles. Shoes with screw-in cleats often are associated with a higher risk of injury. However, shoes with screw-in cleats should be worn when more traction is needed, such as on a wet field with high grass.

After a game, taking a shower by changing the temperature from hot to cold consecutively has shown significant results. It helps increase the blood flow and minimizes muscle stiffness, shin splints and tension throughout the body.

Follow these simple guidelines and your body will thank you later!

Created by Melissa Rachiele

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