Tips for preventing youth soccer injuries

With the popularity of youth soccer rising here and elsewhere, it’s not surprising that injuries are on the rise, too.

At Signature Medical Group, we’re glad to tackle that problem. You can trust our knowledgeable orthopedic and sports medicine experts to treat a variety of conditions, including sprains, strains, pulled muscles and ACL tears.

You can often see our specialists the same day you make an appointment. And we offer convenient hours at night and on weekends.

At Signature, we also care about preventing soccer injuries. That’s why we’re offering tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS):

  • Maintain fitness. Be sure you are in good physical condition at the start of soccer season. During the off-season, stick to a balanced fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility. If you are out of shape at the start of the season, gradually increase your activity level and slowly build back up to a higher fitness level.
  • Warm up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch, especially your hips, knees, thighs and calves. Research has shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Cool down and stretch. Stretching at the end of practice is too often neglected. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles long and flexible. Be sure to stretch after each  practice to reduce your risk for injury.
  • Hydrate. Even mild levels of dehydration can hurt athletic performance. If you have not had enough fluids, your body will not be able to effectively cool itself through sweat and evaporation. A general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid 2 hours before exercise. Drinking an additional 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before exercise is also helpful. While you are exercising, break for an 8 ounce. cup of water every 20 minutes.

 AAOS also recommends wearing proper equipment, including shin guards and shoes with molded cleats or ribbed soles.

If you have more questions regarding your young athlete, Signature Medical Group is ready to help. Our goal is to help keep your youngster on the field to score more goals or save a few as well.

Call today to make an appointment with us.