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Prevention Tips for Soccer Injuries

soccer, Ivy Rehab, Physical Therapy
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Added on March 30, 2016


By Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director at Ivy Rehab Briarcliff & Jefferson Valley

Youth soccer injuries (ages 2 to 18) suffer around 120,000 injuries each year which are serious enough to require a trip to a hospital emergency room. The total number of soccer-related injuries, including those treated outside of a hospital ER, is estimated to be nearly 500,000 per year. A significant number of these injuries could be prevented if parents, athletes and soccer organizations employed the following safety measures:

Reduce injuries through proper strengthening and conditioning exercises, (especially building up hamstrings and inner quadriceps muscles) and teaching girls to pivot, jump, and land with flexed knees and employ a three-step with the knee flexed instead of a one-step stop with the knee extended have been shown to prevent some of these injuries. Stretching, particularly of the groin, hip, hamstrings, Achilles tendon, and quadriceps, during warm-ups before practices and games and during the cool-down after playing, is particularly vital in reducing the risk of strains and sprains.

To further reduce injuries properly maintaining the field, wear proper shin guards, and reduce injuries from goal post collisions with padding.

Stretching Tips:

Perform 3 repetitions of each stretch and hold 20-30 seconds.

Two Leg Hamstring Stretch

1. With both feet together and legs fully extended, hinge forward from your hips and reach forward with both hands towards your toes.

2. Tuck your chin towards your chest to increase the stretch. Keep your toes pointed towards the sky.

Hamstring Split Stretch

1. Bending on one knee, extend the other leg out in front of you.

2. Reach with both hands towards your outstretched foot.

3. Keep your toes towards the sky and tuck your head to increase the stretch. Remember to breathe!

4. Repeat for the opposite side.

Lying Quadriceps Stretch

1. Lying on one side grasp your ankle and pull your heel towards your buttocks.

2. Keep your back straight and the other leg bent.

3. Do not grab your foot. Grab just above the ankle joint (the bottom of your leg).

4. Keep the thigh in line with your body. To increase the stretch push your hips forward (only a slight movement).

5. Repeat for the opposite side.

Standing Groin Stretch

1. Stand with your legs wider than shoulder width apart.

2. Shift your weight onto one side as you bend your knee.

3. Reach with one hand towards your outstretched foot.

4. You should feel the stretch right down the inside of your outstretched leg.

5. Repeat for the opposite side.

Sitting Groin Stretch

1. Sit with knees bent at 90 degrees.

2. Place the soles of your feet together to 'splay' your knees outwards.

3. Gently use your hands or elbows to push your knees downwards.

Lower Back Stretch

1. Sit with the legs straight out in front of you.

2. Bend the right knee so the sole of your foot is flat on the ground.

3. Turn your upper body towards your right knee and place your right hand on the floor for support.

4. Place your left forearm on the outside of your right knee and gently pull your knee towards you.

5. Resist with your knee and left hand to feel the tension in your lower back.

6. Repeat for the opposite side.

Standing Calf Stretch

1. Using a wall or bar to support you, place one leg outstretched behind you.

2. Keeping the other leg bent lean against the wall to apply pressure to your beg leg.

3. Make sure you keep your back heel flat on the ground.

4. Repeat for the opposite side.

Chest & Back Stretch

1. This stretch can be performed kneeling or standing. Take your boots off if you kneel.

2. Clasp your hands behind your back, keeping your arms as straight as possible.

3. Try to straighten your arms and raise them.

4. From this position bend forward from the waist also tucking your head towards your chest.

5. Hold this position for the recommended amount of time.

Shoulder Stretch

1. Place one are outstretched across your chest.

2. Place the hand or forearm of your other arm on your outstretched elbow to apply pressure.

3. Gently pull your outstretched arm closer to your chest, keeping it as straight as possible.








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