It’s Dr. Cornelison, and like many of you, I sure am looking forward to seeing sports return to the landscape. For me, that’s especially true for soccer! While we wait for that day, let me share with you a few thoughts about injuries that can occur on the soccer field. There are three things a soccer player can come into contact with that can contribute to an injury:
The playing surface: Artificial playing surfaces are becoming increasingly common. These can be relatively hard compared to soft grass “natural” fields, and are unforgiving on feet as they impact the ground. However, these surfaces are still often better than “natural” fields in our area, which often consist of occasional patches of grass surrounded by uneven, dry and hard dirt.
Other players: Make no mistake – soccer is a contact sport. Impact between players, whether unintentional or otherwise, is a frequent occurrence, and can result in direct or indirect injury to feet and ankles.
The ball: If you think about it, pounding on a firm round object repeatedly with your foot could be a logical cause of injury – especially if there’s something on the other side of the ball trying to keep your foot from moving it.
A common thread among these common injuries is the role of equipment in preventing, or even causing injury. For instance, using multi-studded shoes designed for turf and hard ground is more appropriate on the majority of our area’s fields than those soft ground shoes worn by our kids’ heroes on well-manicured professional pitches. Shin guards are essential, and depending on field conditions and competition level, other pads and braces may help to protect previously injured ankles and knees. Finally, using the appropriate-sized ball for the age group, inflated to the appropriate pressure, is the best way to minimize ball-related injuries.
Personally, living in a soccer household populated with lifelong players, coaches, referees, and fans (go Quakes!), I have good reason to take a special interest in treating soccer players. When it comes to soccer-related foot and ankle injury treatment and prevention provided at Foot and Ankle Associates, you can be sure that “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
For further information about soccer injury treatment and prevention, as well as various other foot and ankle conditions, please contact our office to make an appointment. Also, keep an eye out on our website for my article on what to expect as we and our kids are finally able to return to the soccer fields.
Keep Strong and Play On,