Bloomington has a healthy soccer scene, with players of all ages and skill levels able to learn the sport and join leagues at Twin Lakes Recreation Center. While soccer can be great fun, its nature can leave a player susceptible to injuries to the ankles, feet, and toes. With the right preparation, however, these risks can be minimized and the game can keep kickin’ along.
Sprains are a considerable concern in soccer, especially of the ankle and the joint at the base of the big toe (aka turf toe). Feet often have to make sudden moves to charge or defend, and improper shoes can cause the foot to plant into the ground and place too much stress on the ankle or big toe. The best soccer cleats to use in general games will have molded cleats or ribbed soles. Those “old school” screw-in cleats are not recommended unless the field is wet and players need more traction.
Warming up before a match is also a wise idea, as cold muscles are more likely to suffer injuries. Get the body moving with a few minutes of jumping jacks, walking, or running in place, then do a bit of gentle stretching. Toe and heel raises focus on the Achilles tendon, calves, and toes, and can be helpful. Don’t forget to cool down after a match, too!
This might not be one commonly considered, but make sure you’re using the right kind of ball, too. It’s what the foot will be coming contact with, so you want something synthetic that doesn’t absorb water and get heavier. Nothing like running up for a kick and having it feel like hitting a bowling ball!
For more help acing safety on the soccer field, or for expert treatment and recovery of sports injuries, contact Dr. Kevin Powers. Our office on 3rd Street in Bloomington can be reached by calling (812) 333-4422.