Spring is here, and so is Spring Soccer Season! With Spring soccer comes aches, pains, and even injuries for which KT Tape can help. But if you're aware, many of these injuries can be prevented. Dr. Donald Kirkendall on Active.com writes how to protect yourself and your kids from common soccer injuries in this article: A three-year survey of injuries in select youth soccer (U12 - U18) was done, and an extensive database of injuries in soccer has been developed. We have learned many things--some obvious, some not so obvious. For example, two-thirds of all injuries occurred to the ankle, knee, head, lower leg and foot. One obvious conclusion is first aid for games--be prepared to administer first aid for ankle and knee injuries, strained muscles, contusions, lacerations and concussions. Another interesting finding was the number of players who had a similar prior injury. About half the players with ankle sprains had a prior sprain, many within the same season. Competitive sport is inherently risky, but are you taking appropriate precautions against injury or re-injury? For example: Poor flexibility and muscle tightness often are cited as risk factors in muscle strains, tendon injuries, and especially re-injuries of strained muscles. The groin, hip flexors and ankle dorsiflexors (pointing your toe up) are tight in soccer players. Don't neglect stretching. Ankle sprains often occur during tackling. Sounds like technique may be an issue. Plus, over half of those with an ankle sprain will re-injure it and half of those do so within two months of the first injury. Follow the doctors' and therapists' orders about rehab. You may view a sprained ankle as a nuisance, but if you return too soon, you are putting yourself at risk for another, possibly more serious, injury--ankle or otherwise. Protection of a sprained ankle (e.g. taping or lace-up ankle supports) for a year or more has been suggested. So practice the technique. If injured, don't try to come back too early. Follow rehab orders to the letter and protect prior sprains. Your team needs you on the field, not on the sidelines. The risks of non-contact knee injuries include:
- Laxity: loose ligaments due to either prior injury or genetics
- Muscle Imbalance: one leg being stronger than the other
- Flexibility: People with knee injuries have pretty flexible hamstrings
- General Motor Skills: Knee ligaments seem to tear during landing, stopping or cutting in an erect stance (straight knee and straight hip). This is especially true in females. Players (girls especially) should play with a lower center of gravity (the old "ready position") and absorb these shocks by flexing the hips and knees. Start teaching this when they are young.