Should Thigh Braces be Used During Soccer
Soccer is the most widely played sport in the USA behind basketball and baseball. With all the attention drawn to the 2014 FIF World Cup, it is important for younger players to understand that the soccer players they see on TV are the best in the world.
Judging by the many women who seem to be attracted to these shirtless athletes with well defined abs, it demonstrates that strength and flexibility are a necessary combination to compete at this level.
Many of these athletes wear compression thigh sleeves to reduce hamstring injuries and prevent muscle fatigue. So should thigh braces be used during soccer by younger soccer players?
Younger athletes do not have the skills or conditioning to participate at this level of play, and injuries are very common. Many of the injuries that occur are due to the repetitive kicking movements when playing soccer. These injuries involve the upper thigh and groin area and occur primarily due to lack of stretching or hyperextension of the groin and thigh muscles. If you analyze a soccer player kicking, you will see various hip, knee and ankle movements all working together to kick the soccer ball in a certain direction with a certain velocity.
Muscle strains and sprains are common injuries in the thigh and groin area due to repetitive start/stop motions and rotation movements. The adductor muscle group, which is made up of 5 muscles stabilize movement of the leg when running in a sport that changes direction a lot. The quadriceps, which are made up of 4 muscles in front of the thigh are susceptible to injury due to overuse and improper conditioning. The hamstrings, which are a group of three muscles in the back of the thigh are designed to counteract the forces of the quadriceps.
All of these muscles make up the majority of the thigh musculature. In order to reduce the stress and strains of playing soccer and reduce the chance of injury, a thigh brace is utilized to protect these muscles. Most of these thigh braces are compression braces, which reduce vibration and overstretching of the muscles and tendons.
Some braces also help retain heat to the skin, to keep the musculature warm to prevent contractures. Compression shorts are also popular choices as they provide more complete coverage of the groin and thigh areas. Thigh braces are inexpensive and easy to wear. They are unobtrusive and do not restrict movement.
There is no substitute to good warm ups and stretching exercises before playing soccer. So should thigh braces be used during soccer? It has been shown that Knee Braces like thigh supports add an additional element of protection for the young athlete to reduce the change of injury.
The Brace Shop has a wide range of thigh supports and compression shorts to fit all ages and sizes.
Check out the Bio Skin Thigh Skin with Cinch Strap for maximum thigh protection, or the new Bauerfeind MyoTrain Elastic Thigh Brace for maximum support and comfort.