I know how old this will make me sound when I ask but do you remember the movie ‘The Program’ with James Caan? There is a scene in the movie where a [young] Omar Epps gets the wind knocked out of him and the coach, Caan, approaches Epps. There is a difference from being hurt and injured. Check out these injury tips for soccer players that will get you up and going again.
Trusting people with your future
My second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps saw me requiring a knee scope.
While still recovering I was asked to sub in and while I expressed a concern that I wasn’t ready, I lacked the decision-making and assertive maturity to say no to play until I was fully recovered.
I learned a valuable lesson: Know your true ‘team’ [aka your family, trusted friends, etc.] and consult with those who know you best and will know you longest before playing at anything less than 100%.
Here are 8 injury tips for soccer players I have learned throughout my career to immediately address, alleviate, and [unfortunately] impede injury progression:
R.I.C.E = Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate
R.I.C.E is very important the 1st 48 hours after an injury. Especially a rolled ankle, sprained knee or contusion.
After a fresh injury it’s important to ice the next 48 hours… If you can do it every hour for 10-20 minutes or some say “when it’s numb it’s done”.
Warning: If you ice the knee don’t ice the outside of the knee for more than 10 mins.
Heat before soccer practice or games
Heat pads are good for before training or games when you have an injury. It gets the muscles, joints and ligaments warmed up relieving pain and getting a faster warm up for the body. It’s a good “cheat code” before you do a proper warm-up with your team or solo.
What you can do is get a heat pad and put it on the injured area as your child is in the car going to the practice or game.
Epsom Salt to help recovery of sore muscles
Great for sore muscles, sprains of the ankle and knee or even the leg or back muscles, as it helps the body to heal faster.
You can get this at your local grocery store. Once you have the epsom salt, warm up the bathtub and pour the recommended dose into the bath water.
Read on the back of the package how much you need to use.
Heat rubs before soccer games, especially tournaments
Products like ‘Icy Hot’ are good for helping with pain in the knee, ankle, legs or back.
It’s not something you want to use long term. Instead, when a player is having achy pains and is playing in several games like a tournament they will feel good putting a little on the sore area.
Cold tub is great for pre-season or post matches
This is great for injuries and lots of game or training play.
It’s one thing to put an ice pack on… Getting waist deep in a cold tub for 7-10 minutes is not only going to treat the injured/sore area better.
The icy pack will get the exact spot, but the tub will treat all the areas around it.
This will help reduce swelling caused by overexertion. Most players use this for after games or long practice / camps.
What you can do is use a bathtub or buy a big trash can or trough to fill with cold water and ice.
‘Hot & Cold’ Tub for fresh injuries
For an injury like a contusion, sprain or heavy training, ‘hot and cold is amazing!
It gets the blood flowing causing quicker healing which is what we all want as athletes because we play almost every day.
The hot and cold method is not easy to do because you need a hot tub and a big trash bin… Another thing you could do is use bath tubs – if you have two of them.
If you have a hot tub you can buy a big trash bin to fill with ice water. Set the bin up against the hot tub and put something heavy on the other side so it doesn’t slip out from under you.
Start off in the cold tub for 45 seconds then get into the hot for 30 seconds. Do the cold 5 times and cold 4, where you start and end with cold.
Ice Message for quick treatment
This is good for knee or ankle and when you don’t have much time to ice for 15-20 minutes…
With an ice message all you need is 5 minutes. Get a paper cup filled with water and put it in the freezer to freeze. Once frozen, peel the top of the cup and rub around the injured area for 5 minutes.
You might want to have a towel under you because it will drip and get the floor wet.
Thinking positive when injured
Thinking of all the many injury tips for soccer players brings back a lot of memories.
I wish I knew all these cool tips to help with the recovery.
The most important thing in sports is warming up and stretching and then if you do get injured, make sure you RICE [Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate]
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