Most athletes are susceptible to some injury during the game. Injuries vary from minor strains and sprains to more serious ligament or muscle tears. For soccer players, knee injuries in soccer game can be a nightmare.
A knee injury can take up to one year to heal which will force the player to be on the sideline for the entire time. It’s for this reason that players, coaches, club physicians and managers would do anything to prevent such a catastrophe. There are three major knee injuries that soccer players fall victim.
Medial Collateral Ligament Injury: this injury happens when a player is hit from the outer side causing the knee joint to continue rotating while the leg cannot extend for a long distance inwards. MCL injuries mostly need a leg brace and a lot of rest for recovering. Surgery may only be required where the MCL has been detached.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: This injury happens when a player is hit at the front part of the knee while it’s bent. It’s considered a minor injury and will often heal on its own.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: This is a severe knee injury that happens when a player lands clumsily when he is changing direction. This injury is so severe that the player may take up to 12 months to recuperate. If the players ACL is torn or ruptured, they will require a reconstruction surgery.
While most professional soccer players understand that daily life harmless activities can greatly impact the health of their knee, armature players don’t take proactive steps to protect themselves.
The most effective way to prevent a serious knee injury is to empower your knees. When you have strong leg muscles and can maintain adequate neuromuscular control, you will withstand the thrust and cut of a competitive soccer game and your knee will escape twists or stretches that can lead to a career or fun-threatening injury.
As a soccer player, warming up is a part of getting ready for the game. However, before you begin any rigorous warm-up activities as is the tradition with any match or training it’s important to take time to stretch the tendons and muscles attached to your knees. Begin by jogging gently before doing start-stop sprinting. You can also follow queue from your coach and other players and do safe stretching exercise for the hamstrings, inner thigh, hip flexor and the calf. All these muscles work in unity to promote the integrity and health of your knees.
You should include some controlled exercise as part of your routine for strengthening your knees. Exercise like scissor jumps, lateral hops, hopping over training cones, and walking lunges can all help in making your knees stronger. You can build the strength further by carrying out shuttle runs using slalom poles, hurdles, and agility ladders. The most important thing while doing knee conditioning exercise is to listen to your body. Don’t perform strenuous activities and avoid running on pavements and roads where possible.
Maintaining flexibility and strength on the lower part of your body is important when you want to curb your knees from potentially serious injury. Of even greater importance, however, is care about your overall health. Eat healthy, drink a lot of water and avoid carrying overload objects.
Tips for Faster Recovery after a Knee Injury
There is a high tendency for ignoring minor knee injuries among soccer players. Most players will continue playing albeit with fast aid until the season is over before undertaking a full recovery. If you can take some time off the field, it’s advised that you do so because the excellent health of your knee supports a good performance in the field. The following tips can help you maximize your recovery time.
There are non-steroidal over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin that are both painkillers and anti-inflammatory. Consult your pharmacist or doctor and follow their instruction on taking these drugs. The dosage for many of these is usually less than 10 days.
Many tie a knee injury will be accompanied by inflammation in the connective tissues around the knee joints or in the muscles. Cold-compress therapy includes the use of cold wraps around your knee, hip or ankle. The wraps compress the area that has been injured and the cold water helps reduce inflammation. This is way better than using ice packs alone for 20 minutes or taking an ice bath.
You obviously can’t rest enough during the season so take advantage of the offseason to give your damaged tissue sufficient healing time. There are some players who feel that their body is crumbling if they don’t perform a mild exercise of some sort even for a few days. In this case resort to low-impact exercise that doesn’t strain your injured muscles and joints.
Minor soccer knee injuries will eventually heal without any assistance. For more serious injuries it helps to get the assistance of a physical therapist who can monitor the healing process. A professional physical therapist will show you useful stretching and be strengthening exercises that will not only quicken your knee healing but will also curb you from experiencing similar injuries in the future.
A dedicated soccer player should never stop training unless they are confirmed to a wheelchair, and even then you can do mild training. Training helps keep your fitness level in check, so if your injury is minor you can continue doing low-impact sports like cycling and swimming. These will help with your cardiovascular fitness which will help you transition easily to more active soccer activities lie pivoting, jumping and running when you get back on the season.
There are all types of braces for soccer players today. Some of the braces will protect you from server knee injuries while others are helpful in keeping your knee stable to quicken the healing process.
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