Read on for our continued information on Common Soccer Injuries – and how our team treats the problem.
Knee Injuries and Tears
Unfortunately, soccer players often experience knee injuries. The knee is a complex joint that takes on a lot of stress from sports. And the more stress that’s involved, the more likely the joint is to become injured. Of course, sudden injuries often occur in sports, but the wear and tear usually leads to a serious injury. And soccer offers plenty of opportunity for wear and tear.
With the knee, the most frequent injuries are tears and ruptures of the various ligaments that stabilize and cushion the knee–these include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). Of course, there are many other injuries involving other parts of the knee, such as the patellar tendon, meniscus, bursa sac, and kneecap, just to name a few.
How It Can Happen: As mentioned above, knee injuries are often caused by regular wear and tear. Sometimes, however, a sudden injury can cause a serious knee issue such as a ligament tear–and this is frequently caused by non-contact movements where the knee simply gives out or hyperextends. Occasionally, a direct blow to the knee can result in a serious knee injury.
Symptoms: With any knee injury, you’re likely to experience varying levels of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness while struggling to put weight on the leg/knee and bending the knee.
Treatment: Because of the complicated nature of knee injuries and the different levels of severity, there are several types of treatments. If you’ve suffered a knee injury, you should definitely see a doctor so your injury can be properly examined and diagnosed and the right course of treatment can be planned. For minor injuries such as sprains or tendonitis, the RICE method is usually effective, as is physical therapy that can stretch and strengthen the knee area. For serious injuries, surgery may be required–but in some instances, physical therapy before the surgery may be prescribed to alleviate swelling before the procedure. And because the knee is such a tricky joint, PT is almost always prescribed post-surgery as part of the rehab process.
Wrist Injuries and Fractures
How is a wrist injury common in a sport that doesn’t allow you to use your hands? Fair question. But think about all the running, stopping, and quick movements that soccer involves. And then think about how easy falling is when performing those movements and activities. There’s the answer to the question.
How It Can Happen: A wrist sprain occurs when the ligaments connecting the joints and bones in the wrist are stretched or torn. On the pitch, this usually happens when players fall and try to brace themselves with an outstretched hand. A Colles fracture is when the radius bone in the wrist breaks, also a common occurrence from a fall. If the impact is jarring enough, a joint dislocation could also result.
Symptoms: Wrist sprain symptoms often include swelling, pain, bruising, weakness, and loss of motion. A broken wrist generally results in pain, tenderness, bruising, and swelling. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms resulting from a soccer-related wrist injury, it’s a good idea to get an X-ray, MRI, or other scan done to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment: Rest and ice are usually effective in treating a sprained wrist. If the injury is more severe, however, it may require immobilization or even surgery, depending on whether it’s a sprain or a fracture. Physical therapy that includes stretches and strengthening exercises can loosen and build up the joint to help prevent future injury and reduce some of your wrist pain.
Clavicle Injuries and Fractures
Pop quiz: Can you name the most commonly broken bone in the body? Well, you probably guessed the clavicle (better known as the collarbone) since the question was asked under the heading “Clavicle Injuries and Fractures.” But yes, it is the most commonly broken bone in the human body and is believed to represent up to 5% of all fractures. The clavicle is a bone in the upper part of the torso and is so susceptible to fractures because of its location just under the skin, as well as it essentially being what connects the arm to the body. As with wrist injuries, most clavicle fractures on the soccer field are caused by a fall.
How It Can Happen: A fall onto the shoulder, research shows, causes 85% of all clavicle fractures. In soccer, this could occur when a player has his or her feet taken out from below, causing a direct impact from the shoulder to the ground. A goalie diving to save a shot is also prone to landing directly on his or her shoulder. A player trying to head the ball may lose balance and go shoulder-first into the grass. The other 15% of clavicle fractures usually occur when falling onto an outstretched hand while trying to brace for the impact.
Symptoms: Pain, tenderness, and swelling usually accompany an injured clavicle–and because the skin is so thin over the clavicle itself, you can often actually see the injury from either the deformity of the damaged bone or from a bump in the middle of the clavicle. Arm movement may also prove to be problematic or extremely painful with a clavicle injury.
Treatment: You’ll need to be examined and X-rayed to determine the actual injury. If it’s not a fracture, a sling will most likely be provided so you can keep your shoulder immobile while the clavicle heals. If there appears to be a fracture, immobilization and/or surgery may be recommended depending on the severity and location of the fracture. Whether or not surgery is involved, physical therapy will help regain the injured shoulder’s range of motion. PT can also help with shoulder pain relief and strength-building when your shoulder is ready for those types of exercises.
Sports Therapy for Soccer & More in Irving, Texas
At Physical Therapy NOW in Irving, we deal with sports-related injuries daily, including common soccer injuries. Our experienced team knows how to quickly and safely get you back on your feet–and on the field. After seeing your doctor, call us at (214) 225-0291 to set up your initial appointment. We’ll examine your injury and work with you to create the perfect treatment plan.