It’s not out of the ordinary to see a soccer player drop down to the ground holding their knee with an extremely painful expression upon the surface of their face. Whether or not it’s for the purpose of time delay or whether the player has in fact sustained an injury might not be known from a crowd’s perspective. One thing that’s certain is the fact football does in fact put an extreme amount of strain on the lower body.
Brazil’s bid to win the 6th World Cup came to a quick standstill after Neymar, one of the team’s top strikers, were rushed off the field with broken vertebrae. Soccer players must pay particular attention to the balance of their ESS (endurance, strength and structure)
Their structure, spine and nervous system should be the main focus. Repetitive twisting on the lower back and hips while kicking the ball can lead to misalignments that put pressure on the nerves. This may cause immediate symptoms such as back, hip, leg, knee, ankle or foot pain, or it may lie dormant and asymptomatic until “the straw breaks the camel’s back.” As time goes on, these imbalances can make an athlete slower and weaker, diminishing the strength of their kick.
Common Injuries are summed up by South-East Chiropractic: The Motion Centers
Soccer players are prone to two main categories of injuries: injuries that result from running and other aspects of training, and injuries that result from falling and contact with the ball. Injuries can occur on any part of the body, but are most common in the lower extremity. Common injuries to each part of the body include:
- Knee: Cartilage tears, patellar tendonitis, and sprains of the anterior cruciate ligament
- Calf: Shin splints and Achilles tendonitis. In addition, stress fractures may occur
- Upper extremity: Injuries occur most often after falling or contact with other players; common injuries include wrist sprains, wrist fractures, and shoulder dislocations
- Head and neck: Contact with the ball or falls can cause these injuries; players with head injuries should be evaluated for concussion
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup currently underway, professional soccer players will no doubt be lining up for chiropractic services. As Dr. Erik Plasker, the team chiropractor for one of the top US youth soccer teams noted, “while the other teams are scrambling to change their lineups due to injuries, our team bounces back fast and brings an energetic advantage to championship games. The players and coach agree that chiropractic care helps them compete at the highest level and avoid injuries.”
Chiropractic treatment can be an extremely effective form of primary care for most soccer injuries. With the exception of fractures and concussions, chiropractic is a strong choice for supportive or rehabilitative treatment for all injuries.
The course of chiropractic treatment can include several methods and modalities depending on the nature and extent of the injury. X-rays and physical assessments may be used for diagnosis. Treatment can consist of adjustments, deep tissue massage, physical therapy, soft tissue mobilization, and stretching.