Goalie Soccer Injuries
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Soccer is played by athletes around the world. Traditionally, a soccer team is composed of 11 players, including a defensive goalie. Unfortunately, soccer goalies are often exposed to a number of injuries during practice and games. Understanding why these injuries happen can be effective when it comes to their prevention.
According to the International Federation of Association Football, ankle sprains are the most common injury faced by soccer goalies. To prevent the opposing team from scoring, goalies must often jump in the air to block the ball -- and while landing, may twist an ankle on fellow teammates or opponents. Wearing the right type of ankle supports can be effective when it comes to avoiding this type of painful soccer goalie injury.
Bone fractures are an especially serious example of the injuries faced by soccer goalies. Bone fractures among soccer goalies often occur when the athlete jumps to block a goal and lands improperly on a foot or ankle. In addition, attempting to stop a soccer ball with your hands can result in a painful fracture, especially when the delicate bones of the fingers receive the greatest amount of impact. Receiving a direct kick to the arms, legs, torso or head -- whether intentional or not -- can be to blame for the development of a fractured or even broken bone.
While head injuries can occur in any sport, they are especially common among soccer goalies, who often use their head to stop or redirect the ball -- without protection from a helmet. In addition to repeated strikes from a soccer ball, goalies may be more likely to hit their head on the ground, goalposts or other players. Repeated blows to the head, such as those that occur during these kinds of traumas, can cause certain types of brain damage known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Bruises, scrapes, scratches and a host of other various contusions are common among soccer goalies. As goalies collide with the ground, the goalposts and other athletes, some bruises and scrapes occur. In addition to contusions that are associated with a fall, goalies may also develop bruises as a result of kicks and hits from opponents. Goalies with especially delicate skin may even bruise after blocking a soccer ball with their arms or hands.
Avoiding Soccer Injuries
Wearing the right kind of protective gear -- such as a shin guards -- is crucial for soccer goalies who want to avoid serious contusions, fractures or breaks to their lower extremities. Athletes who hope to avoid head injuries may want to consider the use of a protective helmet. Sturdy soccer cleats that fit properly and provide ankle support may be effective in the prevention of ankle sprains and potential bone fractures.
Kathryn Vera holds a master's degree in exercise physiology, as well as licensure as a Registered Dietitian. Currently, she works as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation, where she provides care to patients living with chronic heart disease.