Soccer is quickly becoming the fastest growing team sport in America. The sport is great for athletes of all ages, as it promotes leadership, communication, exercise, balance and coordination. For soccer players, enjoying this sports means taking care of their bodies and taking all of the right precautions both on and off the field.
The most common injuries in soccer take place in the lower extremities, which can be detrimental to a player’s future career. The knees and ankle joints are the most used body parts, and they’re commonly subjected to overuse, contact, and blunt force while playing the game. If a player wants to continue to enjoy the game of soccer at their best, it’s important to consider injury prevention and effective treatments to enjoy a long career as a soccer player.
To help soccer players protect themselves, there are a wide range of knee and ankle braces available to help aid in the protection of the ligaments and to help prevent further injury from occurring. For those who are planning to partake in soccer at any level, it’s a good idea to invest in a brace that will keep the area stable and protected, while still allowing for a full range of motion. The following list is comprised of some of the best braces for soccer players:
For everyday ankle pain, swelling, or discomfort, soccer players can use a simple brace like this Bauerfeind Malleotrain Ankle Brace. The brace is meant to offer support and compression with a knitted ankle design and anatomically contoured silicone behind the ankle bones.
Players who lack circulation in the area will enjoy an ankle brace like this that offers compression and heat to keep the muscles and joints warm and performing at their best.
With the consistent and long-term running that is required in soccer, some players may incur injuries to their plantar fascia, which is the ligament running from the heel of the foot to the toes. When overworked, swollen, or irritated, this ligament is sometimes prone to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, making regular movements like walking and running very painful for players.
This Plantar Fascia Strap brace provides elastic tension and pressure to the painful area, and can help reduce painful inflammation. Players can fit the brace comfortably into their shoes to receive the benefits of the pressure and compression, thereby helping to relieve irritation while performing.
Contact in soccer may occur less frequently and less aggressively than a sport such as football; however, there are times when contact and collisions occur on the field, and they can be the end of a player’s season. Soccer players are frequently jumping for balls, changing direction, pivoting, and putting pressure onto their knees, and this constant wear and tear can be the cause of serious injury.
To protect the knees, a knee brace like the DonJoy Protective Knee Guard is a great option for protecting the body from lateral blows and high contact to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). It’s also a great design for any kind of high impact that occurs and aids against injury by deflecting outside forces from the area.
Although incredibly sturdy, the knee brace is made to fit comfortably on either knee and helps to improve knee joint function. Players who tend to be more physical in the game of soccer should consider a brace with this type of design to protect from sideways contact and injury from sideways movements.
For generally weaker or less stable knees, soccer players may want to consider a brace like the Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Brace for added support. This kind of brace has a simplistic style and is meant for players who tend to overuse the ligament, making it perfect for soccer players.
The brace works to apply dynamic forces to the surrounding areas of the knee, reducing symptoms of overuse. The idea is that the pressure put on the knee can be dispersed away from the knee to strengthen and protect it from weakening. This is especially great for soccer players with Runner’s Knee, instabilities, Jumper’s Knee, and Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease.
For soccer players, protecting the lower extremities is essential to playing at their best and enjoying a long career on the field. If a soccer player is worried about incurring injury in the game, they might consider investing in a quality brace to offer that added support and injury prevention.