Injury Prevention Programs

Soccer, also commonly known as Football or Fußball, is one of the most popular sports in the world, with more than 240 million players in 2000. The purpose of this article is to provide some insight and guidelines regarding the design and implementation of prevention and rehabilitation programs, such as proprioception training, education for coaches and players, and treatment to avoid re-injury. The Chiropractors at AHS have a great passion for treating and preventing soccer injuries.

According to the literature, the incidence of injuries in soccer players is as high as 2.1 injuries per year. It also showed that, injuries were classified as mild (52%), moderate (33%), or severe (15%). Almost 50% of all injuries were contact injuries; half of all the contact injuries were associated with foul play. The majority of injuries were strains and sprains involving the ankle, knee, and lumbar spine. Nearly all players (91%) suffered from complaints related to football. Only 23 out of the 608 players reported no injuries and no complaints.

How is Chiropractic useful in preventing soccer injuries?

I’ve always been a strong believer in the saying, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. FIFA too have recognized this and have taken a step towards implementing an exercise and warm-up program. It is designed to prevent and reduce injuries in soccer. The program was developed by experts using current published literature and is designed to be easily implemented with players of all ability. In keeping with newer trends in musculoskeletal medicine and training principles, there is little to no focus on static stretching of muscles. Rather, the program emphasizes core strength, eccentric muscular contraction, proprioception, dynamic stabilization and plyometrics. (Click the following link to read more on the
FIFA 11+ Injury and prevention program) Previous studies have shown that soccer has a high injury rate and injury percentage. More injuries have been found in soccer than field hockey, volleyball, handball, basketball, rugby, cricket, badminton, fencing, cycling, judo, boxing, and swimming. Most soccer injuries occur to the lower extremities, especially the ankle.

Fortunately, over the last 10 years there has been a large amount of research on how to significantly reduce the rate of these injuries.  While the training regime to prevent these injuries is multi-faceted, a key component is proprioceptive training.

Proprioception is the sense of knowing where your body is in space.  Exercises to improve proprioception build on neurologic reflexes that protect joints from injury by limiting movement beyond the normal range of motion.  In the lower extremity, we need very quick muscular reflexes to prevent an ankle from turning or a knee from twisting too far.  Most proprioceptive exercises involve either standing on unsteady surfaces (eg. Wobble boards, stability pads) and standing on one leg.

As a Chiropractor, I often see athletes in our clinic with injuries that could have easily been prevented with the appropriate advice. For some players, certain exercises need to be given while for other individuals several exercises need to be stopped. Whatever the case may be, it’s important that players consult with an experienced practitioner who is able to diagnose and identify predispositions to certain injuries and who is able to provide the appropriate preventative treatment and recommendations.

AHS in Balgowlah employs Chiropractors who are familiar with treating and preventing soccer injuries; proprioceptive training and helping you improve your soccer game.


Zech A, Hübscher M, Vogt L, Banzer W, Hänsel F, Pfeifer K (2009). Neuromuscular training for rehabilitation of sports injuries: a systematic review. Med Sci Sports Exerc ;41(10):1831-41. Peterson L, Junge A, Chomiak J, Graf-Baumann T, Dvorak J (200)0. Incidence of football injuries and complaints in different age groups and skill-level groups. Am J Sports Med; 28(5 Suppl):S51-7.Le Gall F, Carling C, Reilly T (2008). Injuries in young elite female soccer players: an 8-season prospective study. Am J Sports Med; 36(2):276-84.
Dick R
, Putukian M, Agel J, Evans TA, Marshall SW (2007 Descriptive epidemiology of collegiate women’s soccer injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System, 1988-1989 through 2002-2003. J Athl Train; 42(2):278-85.

Photo Credit: Jon Candy – Chopra Injury

Please call your Chiropractor at AHS on 9948 2826 or visit our clinic at 9/470 Sydney Rd in Balgowlah servicing the surrounding suburbs of Allambie, Balgowlah Heights, Seaforth, Fairlight and Manly on the Northern Beaches.