Top 5 Soccer Injuries Every Player Must Know

Whether you're a pro athlete, part of a college sports team, or just love some weekend pick up soccer, knowing the common soccer injuries is your first line of defense.
Top 5 Soccer Injuries Every Player Must Know
Published Date
August 19, 2023

New Jersey loves soccer. And athletes, their swift moves. Sadly, the turf isn't always forgiving, and injuries can sneak onto the field uninvited.

Whether you're a pro athlete, college champ, or just love some weekend pick up soccer, knowing the common soccer injuries is your first line of defense. 

Knee Injuries

Soccer is amazing, but knees take a beating. Here’s a fact: more than 55% of sports injuries are to the knee. ACL tears and meniscus tears top the list. 

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and menisci are your knee’s trusty sidekicks, stabilizing it, always ready to help. Because of soccer’s swift moves and sharp turns, the ACL or meniscus can tear or overstretch, giving your mobility a sudden timeout. 

Your body doesn't keep these tears a secret. Signs include:

  • Acute or sharp knee pain
  • Swelling around the knee
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the knee 
  • "Pop" sound in the knee

Sprained Ankles

On the field, ankles do more than just support you; they get caught up in twists and tumbles. When the foot takes an unexpected twist or roll beyond its normal range of motion, the ankle’s outer ligaments stretch or tear. Sprained ankles are a staple complaint amongst athletes.

A sprained (or twisted) ankle might wave these red flags: 

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty putting weight on the leg

Plantar Fasciitis

Does your heel hurt each morning, when you play, or all day long? 

Plantar fasciitis can be a real morning grumble – soccer plays know it. It triggers pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes, beneath the foot. Why? Repetitive stress on the foot from vigorous running or walking and wearing wrong shoes are the common culprits.

Picture stepping on sharp rocks every time you get out of bed — that’s the signature plantar fasciitis “first step in the morning” pain. But wait, it can pop up after periods of rest or post a prolonged activity, too (because the plantar fascia tightens during activity and stretches when weight is placed on the foot).

 

Shin Splints

Fun fact: the shinbone (tibia) is the second longest bone in the human body. Yeah, the one connecting your knee with the ankle. When your lower leg is in overdrive, the muscles and tendons around your shinbone can get all inflamed and irritated.

Soccer players often get shin splints. It’s not very subtle. It starts with pain, which often kicks off during your game and lingers postgame as well. You might also notice: 

  • Tenderness along your shinbone
  • A dash of swelling
  • Difficulty moving your foot around 

Achilles Tendon Rupture

Imagine a strong cord connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone – well, that's Achilles (calcaneal) tendon for you. Your calf’s superhero cord! This cord can snap from intense activities that strain the feet, like soccer’s sudden starts and stops. And the result? Lower leg woes. 

Your leg may tell you something’s amiss. Watch out for:

  • A “pop” sound or sensation at the time of injury
  • Severe pain and swelling near the heel
  • Inability to walk or point the toes downward
  • A gap above the heel where the tendon has torn

Stay in the Game! 

Injuries happen, but they don’t have to bench you for long. Sprains, strains, or shin pain — our sports medicine docs are here to help you score again.

Nodding along with any of these injury symptoms? Drop us a line!

Injuries happen, but they don’t have to bench you for long. Sprains, strains, or shin pain — our sports medicine docs are here to help you score again.

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