Soccer injuries can occur to any part of the body – the sport is very dynamic and because training is most often long and intense, strains are common and some injuries can develop into chronic issues. Statistics on soccer injuries are well compiled and it’s been determined that 8.5 injuries occur per 1000 hours on average and according to FIFA the four most common soccer injuries are ankle injuries, knee injuries, hamstring sprains and head injuries. Overall, the figures aren’t bad when compared to rugby and football where injuries are in the 100+ per 1000 hours but football injuries can become chronic easily and many players who are more vulnerable have to wrestle with complex issues for much of their careers.
Soccer injuries can be assisted best through an interdisciplinary approach that involves physiotherapy and chiropractic care. Chiropractors are adept in their ability to understand neuromusculoskeletal issues that involve the nervous system and the body’s biomechanical structures. Through this intrinsic understanding of the body’s mind-body connection, chiropractors can assist soccer players with chronic and complex issues as well as more routine strains and repetitive strain injuries. Chiropractors can assist soccer players in adequately resting the joint in a way that blood flow is encouraged, providing nutrients to the affected area to rehabilitate it more quickly.
A chiropractor’s main specialism is in healing back issues, though, and these occur often in soccer due to the rapid and constant twisting of the back and the core stability required to kick a ball hard to accurately for 90 minute games. Actual spinal injury in soccer isn’t common fortunately, but it can be catastrophic. It often occurs when the cervical spine is flexed and the cervical lordosis is flattened which bypasses the shock absorptive properties of the spine, compressing discs and damaging muscles and ligaments. Though rare, these sort of injuries have led to fatalities in the last 10 years and can cause paralysis. Preparing soccer player’s core strength is vital for the professional game where tackles are made at high speeds but for amateurs it’s also very important for avoiding general strain. Core strength increases overall stability and that helps the body’s resilience to impacts, strains and overuse injuries. This is the most important aspect to injury prevention, particularly in treating dangerous injuries to the spine and back and chiropractors have played vital roles in preparing soccer players for the game in the correct methods to slide and tackle without risking the back.
A chiropractor’s main role in soccer is to improve performance by increasing player’s flexibility through adjustments and specialist exercises which pull together connective tissues in order to strengthen the core. A strong core equals more pace, more power and heightened endurance and leg muscles can be adequately supported in order to allow legs to extend to strike a ball effectively. Many professional soccer teams have in house chiropractors within their teams of medical professionals and from complex issues to simple injuries, they’re invaluable in rehabilitation and avoidance of injury.