Soccer injury prevention and treatment PDF
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Soccer injury prevention and treatment PDF

Soccer injury prevention and treatment : a guide to optimal performance for players, parents and coaches

As I write this book, I look back at the tremendous growth of the game of soccer over the last 25 years.
Soccer injury prevention and treatment


According to FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the international governing body of soccer), there are 265 million male and female players, along with five  million referees and officials, actively involved in the game of soccer worldwide.
That’s 4% of the world’s population.
Also according to FIFA, there were over 24 million Americans playing soccer as of 2006, and 30% of American households contain at least one person who plays soccer.

Those figures are second only to baseball, which has always been America’s game.
But as Latin American immigration into the United States has increased, so has the popularity of soccer.
The globalization of the game, the ongoing presence of U.S. teams in international competitions, and the continued building of soccer-specific stadiums in this country have also contributed to the popularity of the game.
A 2012 ESPN sports poll ranked soccer as the second most popular sport in the country for 12- to 24-year-olds.

Soccer injury prevention and treatment


Soccer has also grown in popularity as a spectator sport; increasing numbers of Americans, having played the game in their youth, are now avid fans of the game.
With the rise in popularity of the sport has come an increase in the incidence of injury for soccer players of all ages.
As medical coordinator for Major League Soccer (MLS) and owner of JAG Physical Therapy, I see the injury statistics first-hand; not just from MLS but also from youth leagues, international professional leagues, and the NCAA.
My job responsibilities also include overseeing the medical care throughout MLS and assisting and implementing the development of our Medical Policy and Procedures Manual.
The goal is to prevent and treat soccer injuries efficiently through top medical care and resources. Over three million youth players are registered with U.S. Soccer, but countless players, from 6 to 75 years old, take to the field every day in the United States.
This accounts for innumerable emergency room and doctor visits, along with hours and hours of rehabilitation with a physical therapy or athletic training professional similar to myself.
In February 2010, the Journal of Pediatrics reported that soccer has a higher injury rate than any other contact sport, such as basketball, football, field hockey, and lacrosse, with players 15 years of age and younger at a higher relative injury risk when compared with older players.
The goal in writing this book is to combine my education as an athletic trainer and physical therapist, my years of experience, and my clinical aptitude to try and keep players on the field, be they U.S. National Team players, professional players, college players, high school players, club players, or just recreational players trying to keep fit.
I will give a detailed look at every joint and the common soccer injuries that affect them, and will simplify the diagnosis, mechanism, treatment, and prevention of each of these injuries.
I hope this book becomes a resource for players, coaches, referees, and parents to assist in keeping our players safe, healthy, and on the pitch.
You will see many references within this book to JAG Physical Therapy’s Lower Extremity Strengthening System, or LESS Program.
Many lower body injuries can be prevented if the muscles of the lower body and core are strengthened in preparation for activity.
The LESS Program is listed in its entirety on page 171–184 for easy incorporation into any athlete’s training program.
While I was finishing my master’s degree in athletic training and my doctorate in physical therapy, I was always interested in  teaching athletes about how to take care of their bodies.
I have always told parents, coaches, athletes, and medical professionals, “Your body is your tool. You need to take care of your tools to accomplish your goals.”


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