Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them
Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them

By: Dr. Nogalski

Spring is a great time for youth soccer. All ages and experience levels of young soccer players will make their way onto the pitch in the next few weeks. As parents we want to cheer on our favorite soccer players while making sure they’re safe. There are a few common injuries that your child may face during this soccer season:

  • Knee injuries - ACL sprains (tears in the anterior cruciate ligament) are some of the most common soccer injuries. Some knee injuries can prevented by wearing the proper size of cleats and being mindful of the situation.

  • Achilles tendonitis - Inflamed or damaged Achilles tendons can occur when a player does not properly stretch or condition prior to the game. The most effective way to prevent Achilles tendonitis for soccer players is for the coaching staff to lead their players in stretching exercises throughout the week, before the game, and following the game. You as a parent can look at proper stretching exercises and complete the stretches with your child as well. This is a win/win for you as a parent since you will notice a difference in your everyday life with more stretching.

  • Concussions - Soccer has a history of being one of the leading sports for youth concussions. ‘Heading’ the ball is one of the more dangerous practices that can lead to brain injury, namely a concussion. Two independent studies suggest that prolonged use of ‘heading’ may lead to long-term cognitive degeneration. (Moms Team)

Preventing these common soccer injuries starts with good protection and conditioning. Make sure your child is wearing the appropriate type and size of equipment. We all know how quickly children grow, so don’t be surprised if your child needs a different size of cleats midway through the year as when the season started. Your local sporting goods store can measure your child for the right size of shin guards as well.

When it comes to concussions, the good news is many soccer coaches are becoming more aware of the dangers of ‘heading’. We recommend expressing your concerns about concussions with your child’s coach. Ask them how they plan on preventing concussions for your child and other players under their watch. If they’re interested, ask them to review the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Recognize to Recover Concussion Awareness Program.

Good conditioning means your child needs the proper level of hydration and fuel to stay focused and up to speed on the soccer pitch. We cannot emphasize the importance of drinking plenty of water every day throughout the season.

We hope you have a wonderful season ahead. If your child does experience any type of soccer-related injury, Orthopedic Associates is here to serve you. Our staff of board-certified physicians specializes in sports medicine. We’ve helped some of the greatest professional athletes in St. Louis and beyond get the treatment they need to be at their best. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and help your child make a full recovery. Click here to schedule an appointment with Orthopedic Associates.

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