Are you participating in this year’s soccer competitions? With the easing of Covid-19 concerns and players eager to get back out onto the field, you may want to consider ways of limiting your risk of injury, ensuring you are able to play the entire season through.
Below are our top tips to help limit your risk of soccer related injuries, such as: bruising, sprains, strains, fractures and dislocations.
Warming Up & Cooling Down
Warming up before you play is an essential first step in limiting your risk of injury. Working all your major muscle groups for at least 10 minutes before you play, allows your body to gradually rev up your cardiovascular system and increase the blood flow to your muscles. This will allow your body to loosen your joints and prepare your body for physical activity.
With a proper warm-up, you can help reduce post physical activity muscle soreness and injury. Don’t forget to cool down! With all the blood pumping furiously from running, abruptly, stopping without a proper cool down can cause blood to pool in your lower extremities.
With a gradual cool down routine, you are allowing your body the time to lower your heart rate and regulate your blood flow. Without a proper cool down, the sudden stop in activity can cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy or experience fainting.
Proper Protection & Techniques
With the proper personal protection in place, you can protect areas of your body more prone to injury. Proper shock absorbent shin guards, mouth guards and taping where required can all help in protecting you from injury. Also, following proper instruction on the correct techniques for kicking, heading and tackling can ensure you are not putting unnecessary strain on your body.
Know When To Stop
It can be imperative to know when your body needs a break. Pushing yourself to hard and past your limits, is ignoring your body’s signals that you need to take a break before you cause damage to yourself. When you start to feel like you are pushing yourself past your limits, take a much-needed break.
Staying hydrated is important, regardless of physical activity. Without proper hydration, your body won’t be able to perform at its peak. During physical activity, water becomes even more important to regulate your body and allow it to recover correctly. If you feel you are still dehydrated with plenty of water, try bringing a sports drink to the field to help replace your lost electrolytes.
While our above advice may help you to prevent injury this soccer season, it is not a guarantee. If you become injured or encounter pain during play, ensure to seek professional advice from your local physiotherapist. They will be able to help you identify your pain and provide the appropriate treatment for recovery.