Take a Timeout: Recovering from Common Soccer Strains

People play soccer around the world. With minimal equipment, you can get a team started almost anywhere. Many young people dream of getting on the pitch with a professional team. However, soccer is a contact sport in which injuries are common. Thankfully, most soccer injuries are not permanent, but it is important to treat them seriously.

Common Strains and Injuries

When you are playing soccer, especially when trying to steal the ball from another player, there are many opportunities for you to sustain an injury to your lower body. The most common injuries include ankle, quad and hamstring strains, which aren’t permanently disabling, but multiple strains in the same area may require surgery. Head injuries are another main worry in soccer, both minor ones caused by repetitive heading and major trauma caused by head-to-head collisions. It is important for coaches to treat head injuries seriously, taking players off the field when there is a collision.


Outside of head injuries, the common soccer injuries come from overuse, overextension or collision. When a player performs a slide tackle, it can result in the other player taking a sharp blow to the lower leg or ankle. If the ankle bends too far, there will be torn ligaments and strained muscles. Players can also strain their quads and groin by overextending to control the ball. These types of injuries can get worse without adequate recovery time. When individuals try to play through the pain, they may weaken the supportive tissue, making full recovery difficult, and turning a minor injury into a more serious matter.

The Road to Recovery

As much as players hate to admit it, the main way to recover from most strains is rest. It takes time for tears and strains in muscles, tendons and ligaments to heal. This is especially the case with inflamed tendons that do not have much blood circulation. If players want to stay in shape, they may want to use low-impact cardio equipment like rowing machines, ellipticals or bicycles. During the healing period, an injured player should increase the amount of protein in his or her diet. The body requires extra protein to help repair damaged tissue.

Most soccer players at an advanced level will sustain an injury at some point in their careers. It is better to stay off the field and fully recover than to come back early only to play in pain. You may be dedicated to your sport, but that dedication does not require a permanent injury.

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