A-Z Guide to Soccer Injuries & Gear to Prevent Them | Storelli

May 4, 2022

Soccer is a generally safe sport, but players can sustain injuries almost anywhere from head to toe. The key factor, of course, is to wear the appropriate soccer protective gear to avoid these injuries. This post will examine the alphabet of soccer injuries and gear to protect yourself against them. 

ACL Injuries

A tear or sprain of the anterior crucial ligament (ACL), one of the tissue bands that connects your femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shinbone). ACL injuries are one of the most common soccer injuries, and they often occur when players get tackled, cut too rapidly, or land off balance. This usually occurs while defending.

Preventing ACL Injuries

Abrasions (Turf Burn)

Turf burns abrasions are open wounds caused by the friction of sliding on artificial turf or grass. These wounds usually appear raw and red, due to layers of skin having been pealed away. 

Preventing Turf Burn Injuries

Breaks (& fractures)

Any joint or bone can sustain a fracture or a break, not to mention, that there are various types of fractures and breaks. The most common break/fracture soccer injuries involve the clavicles, feet, and wrists. They often occur due to high-impact contact with the other players, the ground, or the ball itself. Skull fractures, although rare, are serious and potentially life-threatening soccer injuries that occur when a player accidentally gets kicked in the head. 

Preventing Breaks/Fractures 

Bruising (body)

Bruises (muscle contusions) are swollen and painful areas of muscle that are often bluish or black in color, caused by direct or repeated blows (ie, kicks, elbows). The surrounding muscles may feel weak and stiff. Bruises are typically mild and heal quickly, but may sometimes involve damage to deep tissues and even internal organs. 

Preventing Bruises


Concussions are just one type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head or body. This results in the brain and head moving back and forth, rapidly and violently. Concussions can vary in severity, producing symptoms as mild as temporary tinnitus (ringing of the ears) to serious ones such as confusion and loss of consciousness. They can also be life-threatening in rare cases. Concussions affect female players and youth players more adversely.  

Preventing Concussions

Finger Injuries

Finger damage is one of the more common soccer injuries for goalkeepers especially. They include the likes of the ball hitting the fingers, which jams or bends them (hyperextension), or rushing forwards accidentally stepping on the fingers. Some keepers may also jam their fingers into other players or the goal post, but this isn’t common.

Preventing Finger Injuries

  • Strengthen the fingers with hand exercises
  • Wear soccer goalie gloves that have finger protection

Meniscal Tears

Meniscal tears are tears to the cartilage between the knee bones. In soccer, they usually occur when players twist the knee due to running or cutting movements, which can occur with or without a collision. Symptoms of meniscal tears often include locking of the knee, popping sounds, pain, and a limited range of motion (ROM). 

Preventing Meniscal Tears

  • Strengthen and condition knee (lower leg) muscles
  • Warm-up with conditioning drills (i.e., FIFA 11+ Neuromuscular drills)
  • Wear appropriate footwear 


Strains and sprains are soft tissue injuries among the most common soccer injuries. They usually affect the ankles, knees, and calves. Strains occur when muscles or tendons get pulled or overstretched; sprains occur when ligaments get overstretched or torn. In soccer, they often occur when players make rapid cutting movements or if they land badly after a jump.

Both injuries cause similar symptoms, including pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. The main difference between them is this: strains cause muscle spasms, whereas sprains cause pain around the affected joints.

Preventing Strains & Sprains

Awareness Equals Prevention Against Soccer Injuries

Soccer injuries are not 100% avoidable, but you can significantly reduce your risk of getting hurt. It usually takes a combination of approaches, many of which we’ve discussed at length. They include conditioning exercises for the muscles, brain, and eyes and practicing proper technique and nutrition. 

And, of course, wearing soccer protective gear from head to toe makes a big difference. Additionally, coaches should ensure that players are well-rested, not playing beyond their capacity. Following these tips will minimize the risk of getting injuries or make one of these injuries much easier to manage.

Are you looking for more tips on soccer injury prevention? Check out our Storelli blog for ideas and insights!
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