Common Soccer Injuries

Athletes often suffer injury in soccer matches. Image by bong da truc tuyen 

Before we start

In the field of professional soccer, there are two common types of injury, acute and cumulative. An acute injury is instantly traumatic, which is often caused by a strong collapse or an argument collision between players. In contrast, cumulative injury caused by the permanent stresses/ physical impairments on a muscle, or the ache-worsening from the progressive trigger of connective tissues.

Every year, nearly 250,000 athletes suffer soccer-related injuries from walks of life. In this article, we do our best to give you the most useful knowledge about the “3P”: preparation, prevention, and protection; of the vast of soccer injuries. 

The most popular injury: Knee injuries

In general, soccer is a safe-physical sport and obtains a globally low rate of experienced injuries each year. However, if there is an injury that any amateurs and professional players must suffer at least once, it must be a knee injury.

That is because soccer is a type of sport that not only involves kicking and passing but also requires players to straight-run at maximum speed and shift their directions suddenly. Based on the human body’s physical theory, this places ultimate rotational pressures on the knees and ligaments.

When the stress exceeds the ligament and knee’s tolerance, muscle sprains, strains, and tears will appear. There are four cruciform ligaments that maintain the knee joint’s stability, which are: anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at the front of the knee, posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) at the back of the knee, medial collateral ligament (MCL) on the inside of the knee, and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) on the outside of the knee.

ALC injury

ALC injury

Since the ligaments are less retractable than muscles or tendons, they are more vulnerable to be injured and damaged. Among the four, the ACL injury is the most common sprain and graded on either three severity scales:

  • Grade 1 Sprains: The ligament is slightly stretched and mildly injured, but it can keep the knee-joint reliable.
  • Grade 2 Sprains: The ligament in this stage becomes loose by stretching in a longer period. This is referred to as a ligament’s partial tear. Partial tear of the ACL is rare; most ACL injuries are diagnosed as complete or semi-complete tears.
  • Grade 3 Sprains: This is the emergency stage of a complete tear of the ligament. The ligament is split into two pieces, and the knee joint is unstable.
The causes for the ACL injury can come in several ways: changing direction rapidly and stopping suddenly, landing from a high jump in a wrong form, smashing directly in a soccer tackle. Moreover, the experts propose that the physical condition, muscular strength, and neuromuscular control are also potential causes as female athletes tend to have a higher percentage of ACL injury than male athletes in certain sport studies.

Knee’s cruciate ligament injuries do not always give the physical pain directly but make a sudden symptom, e.g., a “popping” poise, tenderness along the knee-joint line, or being discomfort while walking, at the beginning.

Then pain and swelling will spread through within 24 hours. If you ignore the pain and give your knee a break, the swelling and pain may resolve it on its own. However, if you still forced to run or play soccer, your knee will become unstable, and the cushioning cartilage (meniscus) will cause damage.

Other types of injury

Besides knee-joint and ligaments, other body parts can be injured as long as you use them in the soccer field. We had summarized and listed the popular injuries seen in numerous soccer athletes below:
  • Fractures: These harmful results appear when colliding with another player. The results contain cuts and bruises on the skin surface and body.
  • Head injuries: The head-on collisions can easily cause risky concussions. It seems to be rare, but roughly 200,000 athletes had suffered the sport-related concussions year-over-year. A concussion is a mild form of brain trauma; its clearest symptom is a headache, loss of consciousness, and dizziness. In the most terrible result, the concussion can cause memory loss.
  • Tendinitis: The typical inflammatory responses to the tendon’s injuries. Seriously, it associates with the tendon’s overusing and creates the micro-tears in the muscle fibers. The results of tendinitis can be listed as Achilles tendon rupture, Plantar Fasciitis (foot pain), Patellofemoral Syndrome (damaged kneecap cartilage), and Iliotibial Syndrome (overtraining injury of the tendon)
  • Dermal injuries: This is the mild skin-surface injury that comes from cuts and bruises to deep lacerations. It can result in skin stitches and damages.
  • “3P” Treatment: Preparation, Prevention, and Protection


Preparation is remarkably straightforward. A vast of soccer injuries can be avoided if the athletes properly maintain the manual warm-up before doing exercise/ playing sport, well stretches, and daily hydrates.


Most of the injuries on the soccer field are the consequences of overtraining, poor conditioning, and wrong techniques. To reduce the risk of injury, we should:

Examine the soccer field to remove anything that could cause the injuries, e.g., holes, puddles, broken glass, and debris.

Book monthly physical checkups at the local clinics to early find out any injuries.

Give your body system a sufficient amount of time to recover after an injury, even a minor one.

Treat your teammates and competitors with respect. It is better to sit outside any tackle an argument to avoid devastating injuries.


This stage is quite overlooked, even by the professionals. Many people may find it exciting and adventurous to play soccer without proper equipment and bodily protection.

Consequently, it is the most common mistake in soccer playing, and the pay-off is the array of detrimental injuries. Our advice is always using proper shoes with molded cleats, protective gear, including mouth/ shin guards, knee and elbow pads.

Always wear the protective gear for playing sports.

To wrap it up

We’ve given you the causes and prevention tips of common soccer injuries. We hope that you and any soccer athlete can keep moving forward with happy and healthy soccer experience. Try your best to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle, and avoid these above injuries!