How Does a Chiropractor Treat Soccer Injuries?

This article was updated March 2024.

Maybe you love playing pickup soccer with your friends at the West Pines Soccer Field.

Or maybe your son or daughter plays in one of the many youth soccer leagues in Pembroke Pines.

If so, there’s a good chance that sooner or later, you or a family member will need to see a chiropractor for a soccer injury or for soccer-related pain.

The good news is that if you do need to see a professional for a soccer injury or overuse issue, a good sports and rehab chiropractor can diagnose what’s wrong and help you get back to playing the beautiful game in no time.

If you, your child, or your spouse plays soccer, one of the most important things you can do is stay aware of the most common types of injuries and the signs and symptoms of each.

That way, if an injury does occur, you’ll be better prepared to seek out the right treatment and prevent the risk of more serious reinjuries.

At Rush Chiropractic and Rehab, we treat many different types of soccer injuries, and our interventions can often mean eliminating the need for surgery or pain medications.

Read on to learn about some of the most common soccer injuries and how a visit to our Pembroke Pines chiropractic practice can help you get back to feeling your best.

When Should I See a Chiropractor for Soccer-Related Pain?

When Should I See a Chiropractor for Soccer-Related Pain?

A lot of people aren’t really sure what kind of doctor to see when they wind up with pain after playing soccer, and they often aren’t even sure if they should see a doctor at all.

Unlike, say, a broken leg or a persistent cough, many common sports injuries from soccer may not seem like pressing issues when they occur.

You may be noticing you’re in a bit more pain after a soccer practice, or perhaps you feel like you might have overextended a muscle while playing.

It can be tempting to ignore these signs of trouble, but you really shouldn’t.

It is usually a good idea to see a chiropractor or sports medicine rehab specialist if you notice any of these issues after playing soccer:

  • Knee pain
  • Soreness in the calf
  • Ankle pain
  • Shoulder pain, soreness or swelling
  • Back pain
  • Localized or sharp pain
  • Limited mobility, tenderness or swelling

Of course, you should always seek emergency care if you suspect a serious injury like a broken bone or experience severe pain, extreme swelling or injuries that prevent you from going about your daily activities.

Hamstring Injuries

What Kinds of Soccer Injuries Can a Chiropractor Treat?

Luckily, many non-emergency soccer injuries can be treated by a chiropractor with experience in sports medicine rehab.

Chiropractors can be especially helpful if you have soccer-related issues like overuse injuries, strains, sprains, tears and other dysfunctions of the muscles, ligaments or tendons.

Common soccer injuries your chiropractor can help treat:

  • Hamstring injuries
  • Shin splints
  • Groin pulls
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Elbow and wrist injuries
  • Lower back strains
  • Neck pain
  • Tendonitis

If you are experiencing pain before, during or after you play soccer, don’t wait—talk to a sports medicine chiropractor as soon as you notice something’s wrong.

A chiropractor can also evaluate your overall musculoskeletal health and work with you to prevent injuries in the first place—and help you avoid re-injury after you recover.

In addition to traditional chiropractic therapies like spinal manipulation, joint manipulation and soft tissue therapy, an experienced chiropractor can help you recover with physical therapy and the newest sports medicine techniques.

Chiropractors are trained to understand a wide variety of injuries throughout the body — not just those that occur in and around the spine.

The experts at Rush Chiropractic have an extensive toolkit of different treatments that we can use to help you heal faster, reduce your risk of future injury, and get you back on the field sooner.

What Should Athletes Know About Soccer Injuries?

When thinking about soccer injuries — or injuries from any other sport, for that matter — it’s important to keep in mind that pain you’re experiencing from wear and tear can be just as serious as pain after a dramatic fall or collision.

And with both types of pain, it’s possible that you could make your condition worse over time if you try to ignore it or wait for it to go away.

You should also keep in mind that many of the most common soccer injuries present with similar symptoms.

That means that while you can use the information in this article to help narrow down the list of possible injuries that might be causing your pain, only a medical professional can accurately diagnose your injury and build a treatment plan accordingly.

Muscle, Ligament, and Tendon Sprains and Strains

Understanding Four of the Most Common Types of Soccer Injuries

1. Sprains and Strains

If you play soccer long enough, you’re likely to experience a strain or a sprain of a muscle, ligament or tendon. In fact, one study found that these two conditions make up over 40% of all sports injuries.

Because sprains and strains are so common — and because they sometimes present with mild symptoms at first — it can be tempting to brush them off as mere muscle soreness and just keep playing through the pain.

However, sprains and strains typically have similar symptoms as more serious injuries like a tear, so it is important to get an expert opinion as soon as you notice something’s wrong.

A strain happens when a muscle or a tendon (the tissue connecting a muscle to bone) is stretched or begins to tear. A sprain is when that stretching or tearing happens to a ligament (the tissue connecting two bones together).

Maybe you twisted your ankle while turning to chase an opponent who stole the ball. Or maybe you just forgot to stretch before the game, and you strained your hamstring when you took your first shot.

Knee injuries due to sprains and strains are incredibly common in soccer players, too.

Whatever your issue, a chiropractor can help you eliminate more serious concerns, figure out how soon you can safely take the field again, and in many cases, heal faster with the help of chiropractic treatments.

Muscle, Tendon, and Ligament Tears

2. Tears

Sometimes a muscle, tendon, or ligament will fully tear.

This destabilizes the joint or bone that tissue is attached to, which can cause intense pain and difficulty moving or putting weight on that part of the body.

Sometimes you might hear a popping sound when the injury occurs, but sometimes, it might just feel like a sprain or a strain.

Unlike a sprain or strain, however, a tear will often require medical care, whether that’s physical therapy and chiropractic to help the tear heal naturally, or even surgery in more severe cases.

By visiting a chiropractor, you can find out what type of injury you’re experiencing faster, and then plan accordingly.

Experienced chiropractors are often able to treat a wide variety of injuries without the need for surgery or medication.

However, we are always certain to make referrals in cases where other forms of sports injury treatment may be necessary.

3. Tendonitis

Tendonitis usually happens because of wear and tear caused by repeating a similar motion over and over – a very common issue known as an overuse injury.

This repetitive motion causes the tendon — which connects a muscle to a bone — to become irritated and inflamed.

Sometimes the pain from tendonitis starts gradually, but other times it begins all at once.

Symptoms may include soreness, stiffness, swelling, and a burning or grating sensation.

Because of the large amount of running required for an average soccer game or practice, soccer players are typically most susceptible to patella tendonitis (tendonitis in the knee) and Achilles tendonitis (tendonitis in the back of the calf and heel).

Tendonitis will often get worse if you ignore it and keep playing as usual, so it’s important to visit a chiropractor as soon as you start noticing the symptoms.


4. Knee Injuries

Knee injuries in those who play soccer are so common, they deserve a category all their own.

All that running, kicking and changing direction quickly puts an enormous amount of stress on the knees, and this can result in both acute and chronic injuries of the structures that make up the knee.

Common knee injuries from soccer:

  • ACL Injuries: When the anterior cruciate ligament tears, or is otherwise strained or injured, the pain and loss of function can be debilitating. While this injury is common among all soccer players, it is even more common in female players.
  • Other Knee Ligament injuries: Injuries to the MCL, collateral ligaments, and other ligament structures of the knee are also common among those who play soccer.
  • Kneecap Dislocation: The kneecap, or patella, may pop out of place due to sudden stress that occurs during play. This can be a patellar dislocation (complete displacement out of the joint) or a patellar subluxation (partial displacement).
  • Meniscus Tears: The portion of the knee that serves as a cushion, the meniscus, is also very prone to soccer-related injuries.
  • Runner’s Knee: Also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), this is an overuse injury that results in chronic pain and sometimes weakness of instability.

While some of these injuries may require surgical interventions, almost all of them can respond well to non-surgical therapeutic care.

Seeing a sports chiropractor as soon as you notice an issue can sometimes eliminate the need for more invasive procedures like surgery – or even prevent serious injury in the first place.

Chiropractic Care for Soccer Injuries

Chiropractic Care for Soccer Injuries

Chiropractic care for soccer injuries can include a range of therapies designed to address and treat the root causes of the issue.

The best therapies for your soccer injury will, of course, vary with the nature and degree of the issue as well as its underlying cause.

For some of the most common soccer injuries like strains, sprains and tears, your chiropractor may deploy a range of therapies, including things like:

  • Demobilization
  • Massage
  • Soft tissue therapies
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Electrical muscle stimulation

These interventions will be carefully chosen to help shorten your healing time and prevent you from reinjuring the area.

For problems like overuse injuries, chronic pain, and recurring sports-related injuries, your chiropractor will likely perform a musculoskeletal evaluation to determine and treat the root cause of the problem.

Your chiropractic treatment plan may also include measures to correct poor posture or improper form while playing to help you stay injury-free and playing your best.

Some chiropractic care plans for soccer injuries may even include nutritional interventions like supplements or special diets.

Joint-boosting supplements in particular can be very helpful for those who play soccer regularly.

Your chiropractor may also suggest a weight-loss diet if you are overweight, to help ease the stress on your joints and spine.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Soccer Injuries

 Sports chiropractic therapies can not only help you recover quickly – they can lower your risk of injury and improve your game, too.

For this reason, many soccer players choose to continue their chiropractic care with regular visits, even after a specific injury has resolved.

A comprehensive chiropractic therapy plan can help:

  • Improve your range of motion
  • Strengthen weaker muscles, including inactivated muscle groups and fascia
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce healing time and recovery after play
  • Address spinal alignment issues that can cause injury
  • Improve overall physical health

As you can see, chiropractic care is a holistic process that includes so much more than just regular chiropractic adjustments.

Sports chiropractic specialists like Rush Chiropractic are trained to treat a variety of sports injuries, so they can address the underlying causes of pain, prevent re-injury, and make sure you’re always playing and feeling your best.

Don’t Wait to Call Rush Chiropractic

If you’re a soccer player experiencing pain – or you’re just worried that something may be wrong – know that you don’t have to “tough it out” and wait for things to get better.

Making an appointment with a chiropractor isn’t just about finding pain relief, although that is certainly important.

Good sports chiropractic care is about making sure you’re always performing your best and competing safely to prevent injuries in the first place.

When you work with us for your sports injuries and pain, we can help you heal faster, improve your mobility, and strengthen your body to reduce the risk of reinjuring yourself in the future.

Give us a call today at 954-432-5006 to find out how we can help you up your game, both on and off the pitch!

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