As experts in the medical device manufacturing industry, we like to keep up on trends happening throughout the sports world. We have previously written about injuries that players in the NFL and MLB experience in their careers. In this blog, we will take a look at soccer injuries and the changes that are in place to protect players.
Soccer, as one of the first organized sports that children play, combines running and kicking that are natural playground abilities. These skills translate easily into a team game. Kids as young as four are on teams learning coordination, hone their skills, and utilize teamwork. Soccer is a perfect first sport as, at this level, it is noncontact and serves to introduce children to being active and involved. But, as kids get older the competition and play get tougher and rougher. This is a favorite sport globally and injury risks are a worldwide concern.
In order to reduce soccer related injuries among male and female athletes aged 14 years and older, a warm-up program was developed by an international group of experts. The FIFA 11+ is a program that has been shown to reduce player injury by 30-50% in teams that performed these exercises at least twice a week. Through training and progression, player’s bodies are conditioned and strengthened to be less vulnerable to the most common strains and sprains of the legs and hips.
Head, neck, and face injuries are also a serious concern for soccer players. The risk of concussion and head/neck injuries are a result of contact and collision with other players. Heading the ball is also an issue among very young athletes who suffer harm from improper technique and repetitive actions in training. Because of this, the U.S. Soccer Federation issued new guidelines that bar children under ten from heading the ball during practice or games and limiting heading in players aged 11-13 during practice.
These training and exercise programs are having a positive influence on the sport to reduce injury risk among young players. Even with all of these precautions, there will still be injuries. Hammill Medical is a manufacturer of orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices. We are committed to working with our customers from initial concept, through design and manufacturing to produce the highest quality products at an affordable cost. Contact us today with any further inquiries.