Soccer injuries can be very frustrating, especially when untreated. Not being able to play at 100 percent can affect the morale of a player so remember that patience is key when treating and recovering from injuries.
Types of soccer injuries
When moving the injured limb with external help (as opposed to voluntary movement) causes pain, then the injury lies in a joint, bone or a ligament. Otherwise, the pain is most likely from a strained muscle or tendon.
Abrasions typically occur from tumbling down or from physical contact with another player. These must be disinfected with an antibiotic and covered up right away. Abrasions are rarely bad enough to prevent the player from training or competing in a game.
Sprains & Strains
Sprains and strains are usually caused by violent or exaggerated movement of a particular limb. They may be a problem depending on their severity. The player may experience anything from minor discomfort to inability to move the injured limb. Warming up thoroughly before games or practice can often prevent sprains and strains.
Fractures & Dislocations
Joints or bones are generally damaged by extreme contortion or physical contact with another player. Dislocations or fractures require medical intervention. Stabilize the injured limb and get the player to an appropriate medical facility as soon as possible.
R.I.C.E. (Rest Ice Compress Elevate)
The injured limb must be immobilized as soon as possible. Any further activity that may put stress or weight on it should be avoided. In the first two or three days following the injury, the limb should be cooled to prevent internal bleeding. Place an ice pack on the injured area for 5 to 20 minutes every hour or two. Compressing the limb is another way to relieve the pain and limit swelling. Wrap the injured limb with a bandage and keep it compressed for about 30 minutes or until you feel numbness or pain. When using the bandage, start from the point farthest from the heart and wrap toward the center of the body. Try to keep your damaged limb elevated above heart level to reduce swelling. You may try to prop it up so that it remains elevated while you are sitting.
M.S.A. (Movement Strength Alternate Activity)
Once the swelling has subsided, work on establishing a full range of motion without causing pain to yourself. Gradually strengthen and stretch out the injured limb. This will help maintain flexibility during the healing and will prevent scar tissue formed by the injury to limit future activity. Exercise can be resumed in a few days after full range of motion is reestablished. Focus your training on activities that do not stress the injured part. Discontinue any exercise if you feel pain or discomfort.