Soccer Injuries: A Chiropractic Care Guide

Soccer Injuries: A Chiropractic Care Guide

Soccer is a highly enduring game involving the extensive use of the legs, ankle, and head. Along with it, it includes both mind and full-body movement. No matter what level you play soccer at and your role in the team, soccer players are vulnerable to injuries, just like any other sport.

Prevention of injuries is the key for professional players in Santa Monica to stay on the team rather than on the sidelines. This is where chiropractic care comes in, as a measure to prevent, heal, recover, and return to full athleticism as soon as possible.

Injured, pain or injury of a female soccer player lying on a field holding her knee during a match. Hurt woman footballer with a painful leg on the ground in agony having a bad day on the pitch

Common Soccer Injuries and How Chiropractic Care Helps

The majority of soccer injuries can be prevented through chiropractic care. Here are some of the common soccer injuries and the role of chiropractic care in the recovery process:

Ankle sprains and strains

Ankle sprains and strains affect the ankle, hamstring, knees, and quadriceps. As soccer involves extreme leg and ankle movement, sprains are the most common soccer injury. Sprains are caused due to a ligament stretch or tear. Additionally, ankle sprains result from sudden ankle twists, falls, or direct force applied due to contact from another player, contact with the ball/goal post, or side tackling.

On the other hand, strains are caused by the overstretching of muscles in the hamstring, ankle, or quadriceps. Strains in soccer are usually the result of abrupt stops, quick lateral movement, and sudden landings.

Role of chiropractic care

The extent of ankle pain chiropractic care in Santa Monica depends on the grade of the sprain and strain. Both injuries require RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) treatment, which helps bring swelling, bruising, and pain down in the affected part.

Once the swelling and pain subsides, the chiropractor moves to complete recovery by incorporating strengthening and balance exercises.

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries

The knee is the second most affected body part in soccer injuries after the ankle. This is because playing soccer demands sudden pivotal moments and aggressive tackles, which may occur even without direct contact with another player.

ACL is a ligament that keeps the two joints of the leg together. An ACL can experience either partial or complete tears. The ligament is partially torn in a partial tear, allowing the bones to remain connected. Conversely, the bones are no longer connected in a complete tear as the ligament is fully torn.

Role of chiropractic care

These are more serious injuries and may force the player to miss the entire season. A partial tear can be stopped from getting worse through proper chiropractic care. However, surgery may still be required to fuse the ligament back. There are greater chances of surgery in case of complete tears. Both types of tears can cause severe knee pain.

In both cases, knee pain therapy in Santa Monica can help the soccer player walk on the road of recovery slowly after surgery. It can help bring the movement back, reduce knee pain, and regain balance and strength around the knee through balancing exercises, flexibility, and muscle strengthening exercises.

Concussions

Other than ankle sprains and ACL tears, soccer players are also susceptible to concussions. As per a study, around 22% of all soccer injuries are concussions. This is quite perceptible as soccer is one of those sports wherein head throws are common. A player’s head comes in direct contact with the ball multiple times in the game.

Players in soccer use unprotected heads to redirect, deflect, or stop the ball, which is a common playing strategy. As a preventive measure, steps should be taken to protect players from concussions, and should not be allowed to resume play before a concussion is fully healed.

Role of chiropractic care

Chiropractic care is helpful in post-concussion therapy to speed the recovery process. Chiropractors help manage concussion symptoms like headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, and dizziness.

Fractures, wherein the smaller bone gets separated from the larger bone due to ligament tear, result in swelling and are better treated through chiropractic care. Foot and ankle pain resulting from such fractures requires time to heal, but different chiropractic care treatments work like magic and help players recover faster.

Stress fractures

Though not as common, stress fractures of the lower extremity can occur in soccer players. Like any other sport, soccer requires players to perform repetitive actions that cause undue stress on the bones of a particular body part. The most commonly affected part in soccer is the lower leg. Overtraining and overexercising can also lead to such fractures.

The most affected sites in soccer stress fractures include the fifth metatarsal (the long bone connecting the small toe to the foot ankle), tibia, pelvis, tarsals, and fibula. All these are names of ankle bones. These fractures are common in soccer as it’s one of the body parts where the ball hits repetitively. These are the five bones that are most worked upon when playing soccer. Sometimes, ankle sprains and strains also result in stress fractures.

Stress fractures in soccer players can also stem from other underlying issues like vitamin D deficiency, improper use of sports footwear, lack of athleticism, and more.

Role of chiropractic care

Chiropractic care helps recover from stress fractures through RICE therapy, balancing exercises, and strengthening exercises after the fracture is healed.

Chiropractic care also helps players return to the field and resume play through different rehabilitation measures.

Hip and groin injuries

Groin injuries are also common in soccer players, wherein the pain radiates in the abductor muscles connected to the pelvic bone. The groin pain is caused by the repetitive movement needed to kick the ball. This causes overstrain in the abductor muscles (muscles connected to the inner thigh). It’s a lower extremity injury but can get aggravated if overlooked.

The groin pain makes it difficult for players to pull the leg inward or outward and restricts the proper movement required to kick or shoot the goal. Soccer players can even experience pain in the inner thigh, which can worsen without proper treatment.

Role of chiropractic care

Chiropractic care for groin injuries helps prevent and recover from the injury. Physical strengthening exercises during the warmup sessions help players avoid injury in the first place.

Furthermore, RICE therapy is used if the player is experiencing severe groin pain. Rehabilitation exercises become part of chiropractic care to help players recover from groin injuries and allow them to return to play gradually.

sport, football training, sports injury and people - injured soccer player with ball on field

Why Chiropractic Care for Soccer Injuries?

Soccer is a popular sport worldwide and is played across all age groups. Professional or school-level soccer players are equally susceptible to soccer injuries.

Nevertheless, the occurrence of these injuries can be mitigated through the implementation of appropriate warmup sessions before returning to play.

Interestingly, chiropractic care for soccer injuries can be accommodated both before and after the injury. It helps soccer players in:

  • Assessing the extent of their injury
  • Managing the pain resulting from injury (ankle, knee, groin pain)
  • Restoring the motion after injury through mobility exercises
  • Addressing muscle imbalances and weaknesses through strength training sessions
  • Preventing the injury by proper warmups and educating players on their prevention
  • Accommodating preventive exercises to help heal players faster

cropped view of injured african american football player pointing with finger at knee near doctor in clinic

Chiropractic Care for Soccer Injuries in Santa Monica

At Dr. Roy, we can help with all kinds of strains, sprains, concussions, and other injuries, whether from playing soccer or other reasons. Whether it’s your knee sprain, recovery from ankle sprain surgery, or any related issue, our ankle pain therapy in Santa Monica is designed to accelerate your healing process. Contact us to learn more.

Smiling sports chiropractor, Dr. Roy Nissim, confidently crossing arms in a white polo shirt

Dr. Roy Nissim, DC, MS

Dr. Roy Nissim attended The University of Arizona, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in General Biology with minors in Chemistry and Athletic Coaching. His graduate work was completed at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, California, where he was actively involved in the Sports Council and graduated Cum Laude.

As a board certified chiropractor and certified practitioner in Active Release Techniques® (ART®), Dr. Roy Nissim is dedicated to helping individuals reach an optimum level of health and fitness through personalized treatment specifically tailored to one’s activity level and needs.

By employing ART® in conjunction with traditional chiropractic techniques and exercise rehabilitation, Dr. Roy has successfully treated acute and repetitive strain injuries in half the time of more traditional therapy methods. These results allow an individual to return to their normal activities after only several treatments.

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