THE GOLASOOOOOOO COMBINATION
GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLASO!!!!!! As a soccer player hearing that along with cheers from a crowd, nothing can make ones heart pump faster! All soccer players know that there is way more to soccer than just scoring goals, there’s practising and repetition of skills, drills and techniques that go into it too. During our seasons, we practice regularly and push ourselves physically to strive to be the best. Analyzing our biomechanics and adjusting the build of our bodies can achieve the proper technique; this way we can push ourselves to learn that new move. Pushing ourselves along with the specific biomechanics of running and moves and the added physical contact of the sport, soccer players unfortunately are predisposed to injury.
Injuries to the lower extremities are the most common in soccer. These injuries may be traumatic, such as a kick to the leg or a twist to the knee or overextending move, or result from overuse of a muscle, tendon, or bone.
In the lower extremities sprains and strains injuries are the most common. The severity of these injuries varies. Cartilage tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains in the knee are some of the more common injuries that may require surgery. Other injuries include fractures and contusions from direct blows to the body. Overuse injuries of the lower extremities such as shin splints (soreness in the calf), patellar tendinitis (pain in the knee), and Achilles tendinitis (pain in the back of the ankle) are also very common. Soccer players are prone to groin pulls and thigh and calf muscle strains. Stress fractures occur when the bone becomes weak from overuse. It is often difficult to distinguish stress fractures from soft tissue injury. If pain develops in any part of your lower extremity and does not clearly improve after a few days of rest, go to a healthcare professional to determine whether a stress fracture is present.
Though soccer is mainly played with one’s feet, upper extremity injuries can occur and are usually caused from falling on an outstretched arm or from player-to-player contact. These conditions include wrist sprains, wrist fractures, and shoulder dislocations. Head, neck, and face injuries are possible as well and include cuts and bruises, fractures, neck sprains, and concussions. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions – one does not necessarily have to lose consciousness, in fact most don’t.
Signs of a concussion may not appear immediately but over time; they include but are not limited to:
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Player is confused about assignment or position
- Player forgets an instruction
- Player is unsure of game, score, or opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
- And can’t recall events after hit or fall.
Symptoms include but aren’t limited to:
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Sensitivity to light
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to noise
- Balance problem or dizziness
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Double or blurry vision
- Concentration or memory problem
- Does not “feel right”
The time it takes for symptoms to show varies dependent on how severe or mild the blow to the head was; time frames range from immediate to a couple days or even weeks later.
Treatment for all injuries should follow a strict set of guidelines and coaches should go over this with parents at a preseason meeting stating them. A recommended course of action should be:
- Remove the player from active play.
- Have them evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- Players will not be allowed to return to play until a note from a healthcare professional is received.
Most injuries are minor and can be treated by a short period of active care plus rest, ice, and elevation; which means that the athlete can continue to perform or practice some activities with modifications. In many cases, pushing through pain can be harmful, especially for stress fractures, knee ligament injuries, and any injury to the head or neck.
There are several steps players can take to reduce the chance and severity of injury:
- Use proper gear: Well-fitted cleats and shin guards can help prevent falls and reduce the force of impact; in addition, synthetic balls are safer to use.
- Avoid overtraining: Overuse is a common cause of sports injuries; cross training and taking a season off can help prevent these injuries.
- Intervene early: Some discomfort while training is normal, but if you experience pain that lingers or becomes more intense, you should not attempt to work through it.
- Be aware of field conditions: Poor field conditions can increase the risk of injury.
- Visit a chiropractor: Preventative chiropractic treatment can help you identify potential causes of injury and make adjustments to help prevent injury from occurring in the first place.
Chiropractic care can be an extremely effective form of primary care for most soccer injuries; it is a strong choice for supportive or rehabilitative treatment for all injuries.
Chiropractic care aims to restore normal function to your spine, joints and muscles as well as your nervous system, which will increase control, coordination and muscle strength. The course of chiropractic care can include several methods and modalities depending on the nature and extent of the injury. X-rays and physical assessments may be used for diagnosis. Care can consist of spinal and extremity adjustments, soft tissue mobilization, and stretching.
In addition, chiropractic treatment can address pain management and the prevention of future injuries. This can include change in diet and posture in everyday life, adjustments while training, and recommendations for proper gear. With chiropractic care, patients can achieve long-lasting results and avoid crisis type interventions to get you back on the field faster with less of a chance of exacerbating. This must be the reason all professional sports teams have a chiropractor on staff and available to players and coaches.
NOTE: For more information on how chiropractic care can keep you on the soccer field longer and in optimal game shape, visit Dr. Luigi DiRubba’s website www.cheshirechiropractic.com