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Soccer Injuries

Soccer Injuries
Simply put, soccer is the most popular sport by a long shot. However, it's also one of the most dangerous sports. With all that running up and down the field, soccer players will get injured. Here are a few of their injuries and how they can be prevented.

Soccer injuries can range from muscular strains to more severe conditions such as concussions and ruptured ligaments on joints. Injuries can be due to a direct blow, such as a hard tackle or kick (when the player's shin pad is hit or collides with another player), to an indirect impact, such as an errant pass or ball ricocheting into the player's knee.

If you notice any of these signs in your child, immediately take them to see a doctor. Here are some common soccer injuries and how they can be prevented.

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Most injuries to soccer players can be prevented through proper training and technique. Training should focus on muscle strength, speed, balance and agility--specifically for positions that require these attributes. For the goalkeeper, training should emphasize quick reflexes to save shots.

Soccer players should also wear the proper cleats and uniforms to avoid injuries. Shin guards are essential for goalkeepers because they stop kicks from causing severe damage. Wearing thigh pads and shoulder pads is also highly recommended--not only can they prevent a bruise or skinned area, but they have been shown to reduce the incidence of leg muscle strains and thigh muscle tears by as much as 50 per cent.

Shin guards are essential for field players since most injuries involving muscles, ligaments and bone tendons occur in the shin region of the lower legs. While players should not wear shin guards to prevent injuries, they have been shown to reduce the incidence of ankle muscle strains by as much as 50 per cent in numerous studies.

While proper soccer training, equipment and technique can help prevent injuries, some activities should be avoided to reduce the risk of injury. For example, soccer players should avoid practices where running or kicking is involved without specific instruction from a doctor. In addition, players who have suffered knee injuries or major muscle tears may need to avoid practising for three months before returning to the field (or goal). Players with severe muscle tears may also be advised not to play soccer during this recovery period.

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Soccer's popularity as a spectator sport makes it a prime target for lawsuits against coaches, team owners, referees and players. Many of these cases allege negligence for not preventing injuries during games or practices. For example:

A soccer player files suit against his former coach after injuring his knee playing soccer in an indoor gym during the off-season. The athlete has not been able to play since the injury and may need surgery to repair the damage. He practised three days per week with several teammates while under his coach's supervision. The plaintiff contends that he would have been well enough to resume play after a few days had his coach prevented the injury or provided him with appropriate protective gear, and injury free practice environment, and more frequent supervision. How much financial compensation can he collect?

Running is one of the riskiest activities in sports. The ACL ("Anterior Cruciate Ligament") ligament is the most vulnerable to injuries. ACL tears can be ligament or cartilage (meniscus) injuries – both injuries can lead to serious medical problems such as arthritis. The best way to avoid these injuries is by avoiding any running (jumping, jumping high on stairs etc.). With initial symptoms should consult your doctor immediately.

Running is a common exercise that we do every day. Unfortunately, most runners are involved in severe injuries every year. Some of the common injuries runners can encounter include shin splints, heel spurs, stress fractures and plantar fasciitis.

Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries and one of the most painful. The pain is usually felt in the lower leg (tibia) and occurs because of overuse or improper shoe gear or running surfaces. The first signs and symptoms include burning pain in your shins, which typically worsen after running and better with rest, while other symptoms include swelling or bruising along your shin area. Other signs and symptoms may include sudden inflammatory pain in the area of injury, swelling, which can cause limpness and a lack of pain when running.

Heel spurs are also one of the most common running injuries. Heel spurs cause pain under the ball of your foot that is felt right away and worse when you are walking or standing. Like shin splints, heel spurs often occur because of overuse or improper shoe gear or running surfaces, while other causes include gout and arthritis. Pain is usually worst in the morning before your run and typically goes away after a few days to a week, depending on what causes it.

Stress fractures are just like fractures in bones (e.g. hip, pelvis, vertebrae). Stress fractures are tiny cracks in your shin bone that range from mild to very painful. Stress fractures' first signs and symptoms include sudden sharp pain during or after running, which typically gets better in a few days, only to return a few days later. Other signs and symptoms may include swelling, mild tenderness and a feeling of gradual onset pain in injury.

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain which can be felt at its worst while getting out of bed or when getting off the floor but usually goes away after walking around for 5-10 minutes.