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5 common Football (soccer) Injuries

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

Football (soccer) season is on the full swing and I have seen a few players

with some injuries recently. No one likes to get injured during a soccer match,

and in reality injuries are common occurrence, ranging from minor scratches,

bruises to more severe injuries such as concussion and head injuries.

Below are 5 common football (soccer) injuries that most people have come

across or heard about. They are not in the order of frequency of occurrence.

Football Injuries Treatment | Wellbeing Physiotherapy Leederville

1. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury

This is one of the most severe injuries sustained in playing soccer. The injury

usually occurs as a result of a sudden change of direction where the knee is

hyperextended or rotated. A popping sound is usually heard and severe pain

is felt. Swelling inside the joint (intra-articular effusion) is usually delayed and

sometimes physical examination (Lachman test) to determine a tear can be


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is highly accurate in making a diagnosis

of ACL injury and its severity. Most ACL injuries are managed by surgery

where the hamstrings tendon is harvested and used as a graft for ACL repair.

Post-op physiotherapy is important for pain management, muscle

strengthening and endurance, gait re-education, as well as safe and early

return to soccer.

2. Groin injuries

Soccer requires a lot of running and frequent changing of direction and it can

cause the muscles around the groin area to get pulled and strained. Pain can

be felt when you bring your legs together or raising your knee. There is

tenderness over the groin and inside of the thigh. Early intervention to relieve

pain and rest can help the player to return to the game early.

3. Sprained ankle

Perhaps a sprained ankle is one of the most common soccer related injuries.

It happens when the foot is rolled in (inversion) and pointing downwards

(plantar flexion). Symptoms of a sprained ankle include swelling, pain,

bruising and difficulty with walking. Sometimes X-ray is warranted to rule out

any broken bone (fracture). Assessment and treatment by a physiotherapist

following a sprained ankle will reduce the symptoms and allow early return to

training and competition.

4. Hamstrings pull or strains

Hamstrings can be injured during sprinting or powerful kicking. The 3

hamstrings originate from the pelvis region, cross the hip joint before

attaching to lower leg (tibia) and fibula. When the hamstrings is stretched

while contracting strongly, a strain injury can occur. Sometimes muscle fibres

are torn from where it is connected to the tendon area. Common symptoms

include sudden and severe pain when exercising, tenderness, bruising, pain

over back of thigh when walking or bending over. Your physiotherapist will be

able to ascertain the extent and severity of your hamstrings injury and provide

you with appropriate advice and treatment to get you back on field as soon as


5. Fracture of the lower leg

Sometimes fracture in the tibia and fibula occurs when there is a direct blow to

the lower leg during the game. Severe pain and inability to weight bear on the

leg can be an indication of a fracture. On average, it takes 15-26 weeks for

the player to return to the sport. Most players should be able to have good

recovery with functional activities.

In some occasions, stress fracture in the metatarsal bones of the foot occurs

as a result of repetitive stress and motion to the area. Swelling, bruising,

pain, which is worse on weight bearing, and loss of function, are some of the

symptoms associated with a stress fracture.

The goals of treatment for a fracture are for pain relief and immobilisation to

allow the bone to heal.

If you have any further queries, come and chat with us to discuss further.

Enjoy your soccer game and have a great time.


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