Soccer is a sport that is well-loved and played by over 24.4 million Americans in the United States. Not only is this sport a perfect Aerobic exercise, but it also develops a plethora of other motor skills in players. Kids and adults are able to benefit from just a simple game of soccer on a regular basis, but because of the nature of the game, accidents are bound to arise. If you’re an avid player of soccer, then you have to be aware of the most common soccer injuries and how to prevent them on the field. Today, we’ll be taking a look at three of the most common soccer injuries and how to prevent them from happening. Ankle Injuries For soccer, the highest number of injuries occur at the ankle due to the nature of the game. As expected, lots of sprains arise from soccer with a few exceptions of torn ligaments in the ankle. These soft tissue injuries require immediate medical attention in order to shorten the time required off-field. While the fact remains that one should practice the “RICE” method, seeking medical treatment from a physiotherapist will increase the time taken to heal your injury. Below lists the “RICE” method. Rest – To rest means to avoid further impact on your injured ankle Ice – Place ice on the injured area Compress – Most importantly, compress the ice around the area of impact Elevate – Finally, elevate your ankle to prevent blood from flowing to and causing swelling The ankle injuries are the most common and easiest to treat, which is why it is imperative that you rest well to hasten the recovery. The simplest way to avoid ankle injuries is to warm up properly and perform mobility exercises. Strengthening your basic footwork will also prevent accidental injuries due to carelessness on the field. Knee Injuries Knee injuries are the next most common injury because they arise due to wear and tear from the constant running in the sport. Knee injuries include tears to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), meniscus, as well as pain in the patella. Most of these injuries occur due to a sudden change in movement while running, impact upon crashing, or just basic wear and tear. In order to prevent knee injuries from casting a shadow on your love for the sport, it is extremely important that you strengthen your knee through exercises. Some of these include squats, hamstring curls and leg raises. In addition, always practice proper technique such as when kicking the ball to prevent any mishaps from happening. Head Injuries Finally, soccer players are prone to head and neck injuries because players attempt to perform a “header” without enough practice. Neck injuries such as a whiplash may also occur when players collide with each other on the field while running at full speed. The simplest prevention of any injuries occurring in the upper neck extremities is simply to practice proper heading technique using the forehead. Always be aware of your surrounding environment and you can be sure to avoid any head injuries.