Whether you are a weekend warrior or a highly-trained athlete, sports-related injuries can happen. This fact also holds true for youth soccer players. It is sometimes difficult for young soccer players to know exactly what part of the body they have injured when they feel a twinge or tweak. There are a few common leg and foot injuries to be conscious of whenever a young soccer player complains of discomfort in their lower extremities.
It is common for soccer players with shin splints to complain of pain in the tibia area. Shin splints usually take place early in the season when the bodies of players are not accustomed to the amount of running that is necessary to play soccer. A soccer player with shin splints will need to rest and apply ice to the affected area. The player should then gradually return to running. Soccer shoes that provide extra support to the arch can reduce the pain felt in the injured area and possibly aid in recovery.
Some of the most common injuries that young soccer players experience are ankle sprains. These injuries can cause players to miss time on the field, and they can recur throughout the season if not handled properly. Signs of an ankle sprain include tenderness and swelling in the injured area.
Sprained ankles will need to be iced and rested. Compression helps the swelling to decrease, and elevating the leg increases the flow of blood to the heart and promote faster healing. There are also stretches that you can do to increase your flexibility in your ankles in order to help them heal faster from the sprain.
The hamstring is the large muscle located at the back of the thigh. The hamstring muscle has a tendency to become tight and is susceptible to pulls and strains. Young soccer players should stretch their hamstrings in a safe and thorough manner before taking to the field. Minor hamstring strains can be addressed with ice and rest. Later, gentle stretching can improve the condition. Hamstring injuries that are more serious or linger for some time may need physical therapy or other attention from a medical professional.
Young athletes are at risk for injuries to their legs and feet. The injuries discussed above are common in youth soccer players. Preventative measures can be taken to reduce the chances of these injuries. There are also simple treatment methods available for each injury that will aid the recovery of youth soccer players.
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