As the best female soccer players in the world compete in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015TMin Canada, it is important to remember that they would not be playing if an overuse or traumatic injury, such as a torn ACL, had put the brakes on their careers. The STOP Sports Injuries Campaign and MomsTeam remind parents that many youth soccer injuries are preventable.
"As we enjoy the excitement of World Cup play, it is important to remember that athletes like [Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan] play on a professional level that cannot be expected of our kids," said Dr. James Andrews, president of the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM), which launched the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign in the spring of 2010. "It is important for everyone who plays a role in a young athlete's life - parents, coaches and healthcare providers - to put the athlete's health and safety first and honestly communicate about issues of pain, injury, and the need for proper recovery."
Although soccer provides an enjoyable form of aerobic exercise, soccer players must be aware of the risk of overuse and trauma injuries, particularly to the lower extremities. Common overuse and trauma soccer injuries include sprains and strains and can occur to any extremity of the body. To prevent overuse and trauma injuries to the knees and feet, soccer players need proper equipment, techniques and athletic conditioning.
Tips for preventing soccer injuries include the following:
- Make sure equipment, including cleats and shin guards, fit properly, and pay attention to poor field conditions that can increase the rate of injury.
- Drink plenty of fluids before playing soccer and continue to stay hydrated throughout the practice or game.
- If an injury occurs, stop playing immediately to prevent further injury and return to play only after clearance by a medical professional.
About STOP Sports Injuries Campaign
The STOP Sports Injuries campaign was initiated by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and includes a comprehensive public outreach program focused on the importance of sports safety-specifically relating to overuse and trauma injuries. The initiative not only raises awareness and provides education on injury reduction, but also highlights how playing safe and smart can enhance and extend a child's athletic career, improve teamwork, reduce obesity rates and create a lifelong love of exercise and healthy activity.
For more youth soccer injury prevention tips, click here.
Source: STOP Sports Injury Campaign
Created June 19, 2010; revised June 9, 2015