4 Most Common Injuries In Football And How To Avoid Suffering Them

common injuries football prevention soccer training frugal fitness

While football (soccer in the US) is a fun and exciting sport to play, the footy pitch can also be a dangerous place. We regularly see headlines in the news about professional players having to spend weeks or even months on the sidelines as a result of strains, sprains and other injuries. 

Are there ways to try and prevent yourself from suffering a football injury after going in for a tackle or trying to show off your dribbling skills though? Ubiquinol CoQ10 stockists Pharma Nord attempts to help, by detailing some of the most prevalent injuries in the sport and then advising ways that you can reduce the risk to enjoy all-round safer and better performance on the pitch… 

How To Reduce The Risk Of Suffering A Sprained Ankle 

You’re basically damaging the soft tissue in the ligaments of your ankle when you sprain this part of your foot. According to the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy), approximately 70-85% of these injuries are ‘inversion’ sprains, which means the ankle has been turned inwards — common when tackling and dribbling the ball. 

Hoping to reduce the risk of a sprained ankle? Try and do these exercises three times a week: 

• Ankle circles (both clockwise and anti-clockwise) 

• Calf raises (straight up and down on a flat surface or step edge) 

• Shin raises (lifting your toes, rather than your heels, off the ground) 

How To Reduce The Risk Of Suffering A Pulled Or Torn Hamstring 

Running from your hip to your knee, the hamstring is located along the back of your thigh. As your legs are crucial parts of a football match, sometimes your hamstring muscles can overstretch, resulting in pain at the back of the leg, as well as potentially bruising and swelling. If you tear your hamstring, you could be out of action for a while, however, if you simply pull your hamstring, you should be fine to continue. 

Bruising, swelling and plenty of pain will usually be associated with a torn hamstring. Reportedly, people with existing back issues are more susceptible to strained hamstrings, so to avoid this injury, loosen your back with exercises such as lumbar rotation stretches (lying on the floor and rolling your knees from side to side). Basic glute stretches will ease muscles around your hips, while yoga will help you stay flexible, which will lower the risk of hamstring strain. Squats, lunges and hamstring kicks are also great preventative exercises, as they work to strengthen the hamstring muscles. 

The Nordic ham curl is a great exercise when trying to avoid picking up a hamstring injury. Here’s how to do it: 

• Kneel on the floor. 

• Hook your feet under something sturdy and heavy that can take your weight or ask a partner to hold your feet to act as an anchor. 

• Breathe deeply, engage your core and slowly lower yourself to the ground, using your hamstrings to keep your body straight. 

• After reaching the ground, push yourself up and repeat. 

How To Reduce The Risk Of Suffering A Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) 

Helping to keep your knee stable is the ACL — one of the four ligaments found in this part of the leg. However, it’s often damaged by the twisting and turning of the leg, which means it’s a common injury for football players. If you hurt your ACL, it’ll be painful and you’ll likely see swelling around the area. But before then, you may hear and feel it pop or snap… 

Look to build up strength within the leg muscles around your knee to prevent a ACL injury, with a particular focus on your hamstrings and quadriceps. According to HSS, Hospital for Special Surgery, you should do plenty of leg stretches like squats and walking lunges. Having good balance — or proprioception — is vital if you want to avoid injuring your ACL too, so practice standing on one leg (30 seconds on each) regularly to boost your stability. These exercises also help prevent injuries to your menisci, which are cartilages that protect the knee joint. 

How To Reduce The Risk Of Suffering A Strained Groin 

A groin injury can be suffered from simply stretching to try and reach a ball. If you strain your groin, you’ve basically over-extended your abductor muscles, found in your inner thigh. A slight strain will often cause some pain, however, serious groin strain injuries can impede on your ability to walk and run, which is a serious flaw for a football player. 

Undergo a thorough warm-up before playing football to put yourself in a good position to avoid a strained groin. Make sure you stretch your inner and outer thigh muscles daily and see if you can also get regular sports therapy or massage treatments to keep these muscles flexible. A strong core enhances pelvic stability, which will also reduce the chance of groin strains, so do plenty of planks and crunches as part of your basic workout routine. Resistance bands are also very handy for strengthening your inner thigh muscles and preventing groin strain. 

What You Should Be Doing Before Playing A Footy Match 

You will be at an increased risk of suffering a strain or injury if you suddenly begin using your muscles to undertake a maneuver like dodging a player who’s about to tackle you. According to a scientific study, taking part in a structured warm-up is effective at stopping players from suffering common football injuries and can reportedly even lower these by approximately 33%. 

It’s therefore wise to stretch and perform short, cardiovascular exercises in order to get your blood flowing to your muscles ahead of playing any game of football. Here’s a top warm-up session to help you prepare your tendons, ligaments and muscles for a good performance: 

5 Minutes:  jogging and side-stepping to boost your core temperature. 

15 Minutes:  stretching, focusing on your quads, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, lower back, calves, Achilles tendon, and hip flexors. You should hold your stretch for ten seconds every time. 

10 Minutes:  mimicking football movements without a ball including high kicks, squats, jumps, and side-foot passes. 

10 Minutes:  practicing shooting, heading, passing, and dribbling as a team with a football. 

It’s important to put a focus on your diet when you’re a footballer too. Eat plenty of protein and carbohydrates — including eggs, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, turkey and salmon — to build muscle and deliver energy. Also, lower your alcohol intake — it dehydrates you and leaves your muscles more susceptible to cramping and injury. 

Final Training Advice

Eating healthy and nutritional supplements can also prevent injuries when you’re playing football or soccer, not to mention possibly improving your performance on the pitch and aiding recovery once a game is over. 

For example, fat soluble Vitamin D and Vitamin D3 can help significantly strengthen your bones and muscles, according to some scientific studies, while Omega-3 may protect your tissues from damage and Vitamin C could alleviate muscle soreness. 


There are many potential injuries you could suffer while playing football or soccer, which would take all the fun out of it very quickly. Keep fit throughout the entire football season ahead by bringing the exercises and advice discussed above into your training regime without delay. 

I hope you enjoyed this article about typical injuries that can occur while playing football and how to prevent them on a low budget.

Interested in more articles about frugal sports medicine? 

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