How To Avoid The Most Common Soccer Injuries

One of the most important pillars of maintaining your health revolves around physical activity. You might recall the NFL's 'PLAY 60' advertisements from the 2000s that encouraged children to get active and play for one hour each day — which was a partnership with the American Heart Association (via NFL). Today, the American Heart Association still recommends that kids ages 6 to 17 get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-intense physical activity each day, while adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense aerobic activity per week. However, getting enough activity in on a day-to-day basis can be difficult, especially since working out can be a chore for some people. 

Sports present a fun way to stay in shape, and can help people achieve their daily physical activity recommendations. However, sports can lead to injuries. An estimated 8.6 million sports injuries occur annually in the United States (per Siu Medicine). Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that though soccer is a popular sport, it often leads to injury. Here's everything you need to know about common soccer injuries and how to prevent them.

Common soccer injuries

According to the University of Utah, the five most common soccer injuries include broken bones in the feet, ankle sprains, knee injuries, muscle strains, and injuries to the upper body including the arms and head. A stretched or torn tendon is a strain, while a stretched or torn ligament is a sprain. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent getting some of these common injuries.

For example, healthy habits like staying hydrated and well-rested can prevent you from getting an injury due to tiredness (via University of Utah). There are also a few pre-game habits you can instill to ensure your health. For starters, you can check the field prior to playing soccer to ensure that it is free of holes or any trash that could be stepped on. You might also avoid playing on a field that is wet or even avoid playing while it is raining. It is also recommended to warm up for about half an hour before playing. 

Finally, when it comes to head injuries, there is certain equipment that you can wear to help protect the brain. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the marketing of the Q-collar — a device that you wear around the back of the neck — which may help prevent the long-term effects of brain injury.