Over my 35 years of chiropractic practice I have treated numerous athletes of various ages for sports injuries. One specific injury that occurs is from kicking in soccer. This article will discuss the types of kicking injuries that can occur in soccer players. It will also discuss how chiropractic care can help with treatment and pain relief for soccer kicking injuries.
Recently a 15-year-old patient of mine named Sara was brought to my office by her parents. Sara was having trouble with pain of her left thigh muscle when she attempted to play soccer. She noted that any running, whether just forward or laterally affected her left upper leg to the point where she had to stop. Any attempt to kick the ball also re-created pain and she did not have the strength and power on her kicks that would normally be present. Sara played at a high level of competition with both her high school soccer team and a club team. Her parents, coaches and trainers thought she had strained her quadricep muscle. She was given stretching exercises and took some time off from playing and practicing with hope that her injury would heal. Unfortunately, this did not help and when she resumed practice her pain returned.
Sara and her parents wondered if chiropractic examination and care might help. Upon evaluation we found that her left thigh muscles, which are called the quadricep, were in a mild degree of spasm and tender to touch. Normally, if this muscle had been strained, rest and stretching should have helped it. However sometimes muscles contract, to varying degrees, to protect another area. When I examined Sara’s joints in the back of the pelvis, which are called the sacroiliac joints, we found that she had misalignment and improper movement of these joints. The muscles of her quadriceps and hip area were contracted and in spasm to protect her sacroiliac joints from being further injured. We don’t like muscle spasm but the body will do what it has to do to protect itself from further injury.
When there is abnormal alignment and movement of the sacroiliac joints, chiropractic care can be administered to correct the problem. Chiropractic treatment consists of gently adjusting these pelvic joints so that they have the proper alignment and movement. There are various forms and methods of adjusting chiropractors can use to help with realignment and movement. One technique that has been used for over 100 years is a hands-on approach where the patient feels a gentle click or pop associated with the chiropractic adjustment.
This is the method that we used with Sara. After several treatments she noticed very little pain in her thigh muscles and was able to start running gently. After a few more treatments Sara felt no pain in her upper leg and was able to run forward and laterally fully and was able to kick a soccer ball with full strength and power. She resumed normal practice and performing in games.
Sara and her parents wondered why this injury had occurred. We discussed that she put significant repetitive stress on her lower back when kicking soccer balls. She had been doing this for many years, during youth soccer and the higher levels of competition with which she was currently engaged. Most likely this accumulative, repetitive stress had caught up with her and caused her condition.
Now Sara returns for periodic maintenance and supportive chiropractic care during her soccer seasons to prevent returning. Chiropractic care should be considered for pain relief and performance for soccer players.