Knee Injuries in High School Soccer Players
During my time as a high school soccer coach, I have noticed a high incidence of knee injuries ranging from ACL tears to mild knee sprains especially in the female population. During my time at Premier Physical Therapy, there are a number of young athletes coming in for similar injuries. Knee injuries in soccer could be contact, collisions or direct tackles, or non-contact injuries, for example with making sharp turns.
Prevention of these injuries is critical in the young athlete. Soccer seems to be a never ending year round sport, club to high school then back club, which can take a toll on the young athlete. Most clubs and high school teams fail to implement a monitored strength and conditioning programs for their athletes. During my time coaching we have begun to implement a monitored strength and conditioning program during the off-season, and also an in-season program. These programs include strengthening of the hips, knees, and ankles through weight-lifting, plyometrics, and body weight exercises. By implementing this program we have greatly decreased the injury rate in our athletes, by increasing overall strength levels and also neuromuscular control and balance. Along with the strengthening portion, the program is also balanced by including a progression of tempo training conditioning drills. Also, a proper warm-up is critical. FIFA has developed the FIFA 11+ program, specifically for warm-ups in hopes to decrease the rate of injuries.
At Premier, we have a staff with an experienced background in soccer and heavy involvement in our local soccer community. By addressing muscle weakness, tightness, body mechanics awareness, and patient education we can help you address your limitations. We believe in combining our background in the sport, latest research, and knowledge of the human body; So we can get you back in the game, or even better prevent you from stopping playing the game you love!
Miguel Silva, PT, DPT