Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and demonstrates continued growth in the United States each year. Over 13 million Americans play soccer, and according to US Youth Soccer, there are over 3 million youth soccer players registered in the United States today. Although there are benefits to playing soccer such as improved cardiovascular health, strength, and self-esteem, there are also some inherent risks involved. One study found that there were over 2.4 million soccer related injuries leading to an Emergency Room visit between the years 2000 and 2012. Another study showed that soccer is the high school sport with the highest risk of injury for female athletes. The most commonly injured areas are the ankle and knee, and the most common injuries are sprains and strains. In this article I will highlight the most common injuries seen in soccer, and demonstrate research based soccer prehab exercises to prevent these injuries while employing soccer-specific activities.
This article was first published on the The Strength Doc, Dr. John Rusin’s Blog.
Have you ever strained your hamstring before? You’re not alone! Hamstring strain injuries are among the most common acute musculoskeletal injury in the United States. Athletes who participate in track and field, soccer, and football are especially prone to these injuries given the sprinting demands of these sports. One study found that over a 10-year span in the NFL, the occurrence of hamstring strains was second only to knee sprains. The average number of days lost for athletes with hamstring strains ranged anywhere from 8 to 25 days, which equated to missing up to 4 NFL games or 25% of the season. Even more concerning is that hamstring re-injury rates are extremely high, especially during the first 2 weeks after return to sport. In fact, over 1/3 of hamstring injuries will reoccur during this time.