In one of our recent articles, we looked at ways that you can prevent injuries in soccer. Avoiding injuries is obviously the ideal situation; however, most of the time we simply can’t see them coming, or the forces involved are too large for our bodies to handle no matter what prevention methods we have employed. Fortunately, different sports tend to have patterns of injury, allowing us to design products specifically for those injuries, ultimately speeding up healing time and preventing further re-injury to the affected area. In this article, we will focus on return to play after suffering an injury, and how you can help make your recovery process as quick as possible.
Ligament Sprains – Early Stages
Ligament sprains are arguably the most common injury sustained while playing soccer, with ACL tears and sprained ankles being among the most common forms of ligament injury, particularly in women, who have shown a higher prevalence of ACL injuries when compared to their male peers.
Of course, your injury has to be assessed by a trained medical professional. In the case of a severe tear, such as a full rupture of the ligament, there won’t be too much you can do at first other than rest. This initial stage can be accelerated slightly by having the proper equipment to stabilize the affected joint. For example, the Breg T-Scope is a popular knee brace for post-op care of ACL surgery. This brace can immobilize your knee joint at various angles, and it can also be used with a limited range of motion, so it’s great for times when you simply can’t be laying on the couch. The main downside of this type of brace is that they tend to be quite expensive, so it can often be difficult to take the plunge.
Ligament Sprains – Returning to Activity
Eventually, your physiotherapist will likely begin to prescribe some gentle exercises in order for you to begin regaining a recognizable range of motion, as well as some strength to the muscles surrounding the joint. It really is amazing what a period of immobilization can do to the body, especially when inflammation is involved. Nevertheless, there are some ways you can instill more confidence in your ability to rehab without risking re-injury to the particular ligament.
In this case, braces are still good options, but models like the Breg T-Scope mentioned above will simply be too much and will be unnecessarily restrictive. In this case, braces that provide some level of support, but still allow a relatively free range of motion, can be great options to get you back into the game as quickly as possible. This is especially true when it comes to ankle braces, as there is a higher chance of contact with another person at the ankle joint than the knee joint.
For early stage recovery, you may find that some of the ankle braces that provide the support you need are a little bulky. You may constantly notice this, especially if you are wearing cleats, and your range of motion may still be limited. Don’t let this deter you. If you and a health professional both think a certain level of support and stability is necessary, do not waiver from that, as you could end up with a setback that will make the recovery process way longer.
Once you are feeling a bit closer to normal and have regained a decent range of motion and feel relatively strong, there are lots of ankle braces for cleats that will provide a nice comfortable fit, while also providing a little bit of support to help reduce the risk of re-injury. Many of these braces can actually be work once you feel 100%, and in this case, we are back to using them purely as an injury prevention method.
Rehabilitating an injury is never this simple, but knowing what is available and how things work can go a long way in assisting your recovery. Education is key, and much of this education can be done at home on your own by browsing around online and looking at an array of injury information as it relates to soccer. Even simple things like learning basic anatomy can help, as you will be able to better identify why certain areas hurt at different times. In any case, we hope the above information will help with your injury recovery, and hopefully we’ll see you back on the pitch sooner rather than later!