Although many soccer injuries involve the legs and lower extremities, other body areas are susceptible to injury/s as well. Acute or cumulative is how soccer injuries are generally described. Acute injuries are traumatic. They are usually caused by a slip, trip, and fall, getting hit, and crashing into other players. Cumulative injuries involve repetitive stress on a muscle, joint, or connective tissue. This triggers progressive aches, pain, and physical impairment that gets worse with time. Understanding how and why they happen is the first step in injury prevention. The more common injuries experienced among soccer athletes include.
This is a form of mild traumatic brain injury mTBI caused by a sudden hit/impact to the head. Players are trained to head the ball; however, concussions can happen if not ready for impact or heading at an awkward position.
Ankle sprains are when there is stretching and tearing of ligament/s that surround the ankle joint.
Lateral ankle sprains or outside of the ankle can happen when a player kicks the ball with the top of the foot.
A medial ankle sprain or inside of the ankle can happen when the toes are turned out when the foot is flexed up.
This is a chronic injury that occurs from overuse with pain in the back of the ankle. Players are constantly performing repetitive and sudden movements that, over time, can cause this type of injury.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
A rupture involves a partial or complete tear of the Achilles tendon. Often players say with a popping sound. This happens when players perform fast, explosive movements. Rapid stopping, starting, shifting, jumping can all contribute.
This is a type of strain that happens when the inner thigh muscles are stretched beyond their limit. As a result, a player can pull the groin when kicking and/or resistance from an opponent trying to take the ball or kick in the opposite direction.
These injuries involve the three back muscles of the thigh and can vary from minor strains to complete ruptures/tears. This comes from running, sprinting, jumping, and stopping, leading to these types of injuries.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
This is an overuse/repetitive injury that involves a tendon known as the IT band. This is the connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh. Constant running can create friction as the band gets pulled along the outside of the knee, which can cause tendonitis.
This causes foot pain caused by inflammation of the tissue bands that run from the heel to the toes. Several factors can cause the condition. This could be players using inappropriate or not correctly fitting shoes, shoes that do not provide proper arch support or playing on a hard surface.
Calf Muscle Pull
This is when one of the muscles of the lower leg gets pulled from the Achilles tendon. Again, quick and spontaneous sprinting, running, or jumping is usually the cause.
The most common soccer injuries are those that involve the knee. This is because of the stopping and shifting directions quickly and suddenly. The explosive, spontaneous movements place extreme stress on the knees and the supporting ligaments. When the stress goes beyond the ligament’s limits, it can cause a sprain or tear in the joint. When there is an injury to the knee/s, it is diagnosed using a grading scale.
Grade 1 Mild sprain
Grade 2 Partial tear
Grade 3 Complete tear
Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, is a condition where the cartilage under the kneecap gets damaged from an injury or overuse. This happens when there is a misalignment in the knee and/or strained tendons.
The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is at the front of the knee. These are the most common knee injuries. This is because the ligaments are less retractable than muscles or tendons. And those in the knees are highly vulnerable to damage.
Cruciate Ligament Injury
This type of injury does not always cause pain but often causes a popping sound when it happens. Pain and swelling develop within 24 hours. This is followed by the loss of range of motion and tenderness around and along the joint.
The Meniscus involves a C-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the space between the femur and the shin bone. These tears are painful and are often the result of twisting, pivoting, decelerating, or quick/rapid impact.
The term describes a variety of painful symptoms that develop in the front of the lower leg. This often happens from over/intense training, or the training gets changed. Players can also develop shin splints from training while not using appropriate shoes.
These types of fractures are usually the result of overuse or repeated impact on a bone. The result is severe bruising or a slight crack in the bone.
When tendons get inflamed, it is referred to as tendonitis. This comes with repetitive overuse but can also develop from a traumatic injury that causes micro-tears in the muscle fibers.
Soccer Injuries Prevention
Many of these injuries result from overuse, overtraining, improper conditioning, and/or not warming up properly. Here are few tips to help reduce the risk.
Warm-up for at least 30 minutes before playing
Pay special attention to stretching the:
Wear protective gear
Ensure they are correctly sized and maintained.
Check the field
Check for anything that could cause injury/s. This includes:
Avoid playing in bad weather
Or immediately after heavy rain when the field is especially slick and muddy.
Allow enough time to heal after an injury.
This also goes for minor soccer injuries. Trying too fast to get back increases the risk of worsening the injury, re-injury, and/or creating new injuries.
Utilize carb-loading to help them increase energy storage for long runs, bike rides, swims, etc. When timed effectively, carb-loading has been shown to increase muscle glycogen, leading to improved performance.
Bodybuilders and fitness athletes
Use carbo-loading to build size and mass before competitions. The timing and efficacy of carb-loading vary from person to person. Make sure to experiment before the next big competition.
Fairchild, Timothy J et al. “Rapid carbohydrate loading after a short bout of near maximal-intensity exercise.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise vol. 34,6 (2002): 980-6. doi:10.1097/00005768-200206000-00012
Kilic O, Kemler E, Gouttebarge V. The “sequence of prevention” for musculoskeletal injuries among adult recreational footballers: A systematic review of the scientific literature. Phys Ther Sport. 2018;32:308-322. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.01.007
Lingsma H, Maas A. Heading in soccer: More than a subconcussive event?. Neurology. 2017;88(9):822-823. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000003679
Pfirrmann D, Herbst M, Ingelfinger P, Simon P, Tug S. Analysis of Injury Incidences in Male Professional Adult and Elite Youth Soccer Players: A Systematic Review. J Athl Train. 2016;51(5):410–424. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.6.03
Pinched nerves occur when added pressure is applied to a nerve or set of nerves from surrounding tissues like bones, cartilage, muscles, or tendons. The pressure affects the nerve’s ability to function properly and usually causes pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness. A pinched nerve can occur at various sites in the body. Whether located in the neck, shoulder, arm, hand, back, or knees, they can lead to other debilitating conditions/injuries and permanent nerve damage if left untreated.
The nerves are not actually being pinched but are being compressed. The added pressure on or around the nerve causes painful sensations that can also include:
Pinched nerves are nothing to dismiss. Individuals experiencing any of the above symptoms should get a proper diagnosis from a chiropractor.
Compression Goes Away By Itself
A compressed nerve can go away on its own if the pain has recently started or is not severe. In addition, home remedies like rest, heat, ice, and stretching can be utilized to help the compression subside on its own.
Length of Time It Takes for a Pinched Nerve to Heal
The length of time depends on the reason why the nerve is compressed and irritated. For example, some pinched nerves are brought on from poor posture and tight muscles. These can usually heal within 4 weeks. However, if the pain has been going on for some time, like more than 3 months, it will take longer, especially to identify the root cause/s and address them according to their severity.
Chiropractic Adjustments and Massage
These two types of treatment/therapy highly complement each other. A chiropractor understands the importance of massage when it comes to healing and stress relief. Some cases of pinched nerves come from tight muscles and muscle spasms. Along with chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy is perfect for releasing and stretching the nerves back to their natural form.
Studies show that chiropractic massage therapy offers pain relief and also helps reduce any depression and anxiety that the pain symptoms can generate. In addition, comprehensive chiropractic treatment has been proven to be the best and fastest way to deal with pinched nerves.
Get More Sleep
Whenever the body is going through stress and needs repair, more sleep gives the body the time to heal itself. An extra hour of sleep also ensures that the injured area moves less. However, try to avoid sleeping on the stomach and make sure that the pillows being used provide plenty of support.
Warm/Hot Soothing Bath
Ice can really help lower swelling and inflammation, but if icing the area has not relieved the pain after 72 hours, it is time for a warm/hot bath. Warm water increases blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to help heal and restore. In addition, heat relaxes the muscles of the body, which relieves pressure on the affected area.
Collagen Nerve Joint Repair
Collagen adds cushion to the spaces between the joints and bones while damaged tissues are being repaired. Collagen is the most plentiful natural protein in the human body. Supplements with glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid can help and consume bone broth, a healthy collagen source. An anti-inflammatory diet can also help. Inflammation contributes to pain symptoms. Lowering inflammation lowers pain as well.
Slouching and poor posture, whether sitting or standing, place added pressure/stress on the joints. When this goes on for long periods or when something traumatic occurs, a pinched nerve can result. A chiropractor will restore the body’s natural curvature. In addition, a chiropractor will discuss and show what proper posture should be and how to strengthen the core to maintain proper posture.
Other Treatment Options
Conventional treatments usually include:
Over the counter pain relievers
Prescription pain relievers for severe cases
Microdiscectomy spinal surgery
Most individuals want to avoid any of the above treatment options. The body has a tremendous ability to heal itself. Chiropractic will reduce the amount of time that is required to heal a pinched nerve. It’s about treating the entire body, not just the symptoms. A customized treatment/recovery diet plan will be developed according to each individual’s needs. At Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic, we encourage anyone experiencing any pain to call us right away.
Composition of the Body
What happens to the body when you stop eating
Not eating for a few hours causes glucose levels in the blood to drop, and insulin release stops. Alpha cells in the pancreas produce a hormone called glucagon that helps the liver break down the body’s stored glycogen, converting it back into glucose. The liver can also produce glucose by utilizing fats, amino acids, and waste.
If the body’s blood sugar levels drop, too low a condition called hypoglycemia happens. It occurs a few hours after eating when there is too much insulin in the blood or certain medications. This is why an individual might feel dizzy, shaky, anxious, or irritable when they have not eaten for several hours. Eating at least 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates will reverse the symptoms.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post Disclaimer
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Dubinsky RM, Miyasaki J.Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in treating pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review). Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.Neurology. 2010;74:173-176.
Shrier I. Does stretching help prevent injuries? Evidence-based Sports Medicine. Williston, VT: BMJ Books; 2002.
If you have low back pain�or have had it, you are not alone. Experts estimate that around 80% of people will experience some type of back problem at some point in their lives. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 lists low back pain as the number one cause of disability worldwide. The good news is the majority of back pain is mechanical in origin or is not organic. This means that infection, cancer, fracture, inflammatory arthritis, and other serious conditions are not the cause. In fact, you may benefit by looking to your feet, knees,�and hips as the culprits.
The spine is the foundation for the body, supporting the spinal cord and the limbs. When there is a problem with any of the limbs it can affect the spine and vice versa. The intricate network of tendons, ligaments, and nerves work together within the incredible machine that is the human body.
How the Feet Affect the Low Back
When there are problems with the feet, it can cause problems through the legs and all the way to the spine. This can cause the ankle to pronate, meaning it rolls inward. This alters the way the bones of the foot line up which extends through the tibia, or shin bone.
This can cause a condition called knock knees and it can change the way the entire body is aligned. This puts the body out of balance, destabilizing the spine, and can even cause the pelvis to tilt to one side or the other. When you are walking or standing, the stress caused by the misalignment it can create a domino effect, causing or contributing to low back pain.
How the Knees Affect the Low Back
One thing to remember when assessing pain in the body is that where it hurts may not be the source of the problem. It could be a symptom. Because of this, knee pain could be caused by a problem with your back and back pain could be caused by a problem with your knees.
It is important to take this type of pain at more than face value and do a little investigating to find the cause. That is why chiropractic is so beneficial in these situations.
If you see a chiropractor for your knee or back pain, he or she will assess your issues, talk to you about the pain you are experiencing and help you get to the root of your problem so that you can treat it and, in turn, help correct other associated issues. Knees connect the foot and spine so problems that affect the feet and ankles,�as well as the spine, will very likely affect the knees and hips as well.
How the Hips Affect the Low Back
Muscle imbalances in the hip, such as tight hip flexors, can cause low back pain � or at least contribute to it. When the hip flexor muscles are too tight, it causes what is known as an anterior pelvic tilt.
In other words, the muscles cause an anterior pull on the pelvis. This affect posture and throws the entire lower body out of alignment. It can also affect the knees and feet if left untreated.
Hip flexors can become too tight if the person sits for extended periods of time or engages in activities like cycling and jogging. A chiropractor can guide you through exercises that will help release the tight muscles and stop the micro spams that occur as a result.
He or she will also assess your knees, feet, and ankles to ensure that the issue has not through them out of alignment as well. Correcting the cause of the problem will often correct the associated issues and resolve the pain allowing you to return to your normal activities.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and sports are one approach many people choose to use to get their exercise.
For people with back pain, sports can still be a viable option if they pay attention to their back.
For others who participate in sports, knowing the type of strain various sports place on the back may help prevent a back injury.
This article gives specific information about sports injuries and back pain from bicycling, weight lifting, running, swimming, skiing, golf, and tennis.
Types of Sports-Related Back Injuries
In any sport, injuries to any part of the spine are possible, as well as injuries to the soft tissue and fascia that help comprise the makeup of the body. Up to 20% of all injuries that occur in sports involve an injury to the lower back or neck.
Lower Back Injury
The lower back is subject to a great deal of strain in many sports. Sports that use repetitive impact (e.g., running), a twisting motion (e.g. golf), or weight loading at the end of a range-of-motion (e.g., weightlifting) commonly cause damage to the lower back.
The neck is most commonly injured in sports that involve contact (e.g., football), which place the cervical spine (neck) at risk of injury.
Upper Back Injury
The thoracic spine (mid portion of the spine at the level of the rib cage) is less likely to be injured because it is relatively immobile and has extra support. Injuries seen here can involve rib fracture and intercostal neuralgia as well as intercostal muscle strains in sports that involve rotation of the torso (e.g. weight training with rotation), swimming, golf, tennis, and even skiing.
Stretching and Warm-Up Prior to Exercise
While static stretching prior to any type of exercise used to be recommended, a number of studies in recent years have shown that stretching the muscles prior to exercise is not needed. A number of studies have shown that it does not help prevent injury, and likely does no harm either.1,2,3
For every sport, a thorough warm-up should be completed before starting to play. The warm-up will target the muscles used in that sport, but it should also prepare the back for the stresses to come.
The warm-up used should be specific to the sport to be played. A typical warm-up should include:
Increase circulation gradually by doing some easy movement (such as walking) to increase blood circulation to the muscles and ligaments of the back
Stretch the lower and upper back and related muscles, including hamstrings and quadriceps
Start slowly with the sport movements (e.g. swing the golf club, serve the ball)
Work with a Professional to Prevent or Manage Back Injury
There are professionals or instructors in almost every sport who are willing to share their expertise. Ideally, someone with this type of expertise can teach the correct form for a new sport or help develop and keep the proper technique for a current sport.
Before starting to work with any sports or exercise professional, it is advisable to inquire about his or her credentials. In general, if the individual is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), he or she should be up to date on the latest evidence related to stretching, exercise routines for specific sports, and additional information designed to benefit your personal routine.
Mets’ Infield, Chiropractor Is The Most Important Position
There are many ways to describe the Mets� projected starting infield of David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker and Lucas Duda. But two weeks ago, as Mets Manager Terry Collins discussed how he would handle their playing time, he provided a telling answer while rattling off the positions.
�We�ve got a bad back, bad back, bad knee and a bad back,� Collins said, referring to Wright, Walker, Cabrera and Duda.
The 2017 Mets, for all of their potential and talent, cannot ignore a significant question mark: health. Aside from the arm-related injuries of the pitching staff, the condition of the spines of three key infielders will hover over the team all season.
Wright, the long-tenured third baseman, has played only 75 games during the past two seasons; part of the reason was neck surgery in June, but mostly it is because of spinal stenosis, a chronic condition. Walker, the second baseman, had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back in September. And Duda, the power-hitting first baseman, missed four months last season because of a stress fracture in his lower back.
All three reported to spring training relatively healthy; in Wright�s case, fusion surgery on a herniated disk in his neck had healed. But only two days into the exhibition schedule, the Mets have suffered a setback.
After experiencing what he said was a pain-free off-season, Duda reported feeling spasms in his back late last week. The pressure had an adverse effect on his hips, and he received a cortisone shot on each side Friday.
�So we�ll take a few days now instead of two weeks down the road,� Duda said. �Just being cautious.�
That should be the Mets� motto all year.
Although baseball players put repeated strain on their core when pitching or swinging, they do not suffer more back injuries than athletes in sports that entail more forceful impact, such as football or hockey, said Dr. Andrew C. Hecht, the chief of spine surgery for Mount Sinai Health System, who wrote a soon-to-be-released book on spine injuries in athletes.
�What happens when you have a few on one particular team is that it highlights it,� Hecht said.
Walker�s injury was the simplest. He first felt discomfort in his lower back and tingling in his leg late during the 2012 season, which he thought was caused by the sport�s day-to-day rigors. Some back pain recurred in the years that followed, but never to the degree that it did last season, when he said he also experienced numbness in his leg and foot.
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Hecht, who is not involved in the treatment of these Mets players, said lumbar disk herniation like Walker�s is �as common as common can be.� Surgery to repair the injury involves removing only the part of the herniated disk that is pinching the nerve and causing the pain, Hecht said.
Walker, 31, said he completed his physical therapy in less than three months and went through normal off-season workouts. Although he is healthy now, Walker said that he has a regimen of daily exercises and stretches to keep his back in good shape.
Despite the back ailment last season, Walker still hit .282, with 23 home runs and a career-high .823 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. The Mets felt confident enough in his recovery that they gave him a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer. Walker accepted, and the sides have talked about a contract extension.
Duda�s injury, a vertebral crack, is another common back ailment in athletes, Hecht said. The usual treatment is rest and rehabilitation.
Before his recent flare-up of back spasms, Duda, 31, said he, too, was regularly doing exercises to support his back. Until last week, there was reason to be optimistic about Duda�s outlook because, after missing 107 games last season, he returned in September to play eight games.
Still, as a precaution, right fielder Jay Bruce took ground balls at first base during workouts on Sunday. Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores are options to back up Walker; Cabrera, the infielder with the balky knee last season; and Wright.
Wright�s stenosis, a narrowing of the canal in the spinal cord that can lead to chronic stiffness and pain, is the most complicated ailment. Hecht said the condition was rare among younger athletes, and while Wright is only 34, he is entering his 14th major league season.
Wright said doctors have told him his condition was the �perfect storm� of three factors. He was born with a narrow spinal canal, Wright said, explaining, �Ideally, you�d want a little more space so that those nerves don�t get pinched.� Wright also sustained a vertebral fracture years ago, which, along with the wear and tear of playing so much baseball, has contributed to his injury.
Wright had neck surgery in June, for an injury that he said was unrelated to his spinal stenosis, which was diagnosed in May 2015. After rest and rehabilitation, he returned to the field in August 2015, but he often required hours of stretching and preparation to play. That kind of maintenance is expected to continue for the rest of his career.
While expectations of how much Wright can play will be tempered again this season, he can try to limit the effects of spinal stenosis. Compared with last year, Wright said, he has a better idea of how to manage his back in spring training, even though he is still building up his arm strength after his neck surgery.
�I know the routine and the process,� he said. �I understand my body a little bit better.�
In any sport, injuries to any part of the spine are possible, as well as injuries to the soft tissue and fascia that help comprise the makeup of the body. Up to 20% of all injuries that occur in sports involve an injury to the lower back or neck.�For Answers to any questions you may have please call Dr. Jimenez at
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