TSAOG’s Dr. Christian Balldin spoke with Berit Mason at WOAI Radio on tips to avoid injuries now that soccer season is underway.
The very competitive youth soccer season is about to open, and local orthopaedic docs say there are several steps you can take to make sure it’s not broken bone season, 1200 WOAI news reports.
“Its a very physical support and it certain involves a lot of tackling and contact,” Dr. Christian Balldin with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the region’s leading orthopaedic practice, told 1200 WOAI’s Berit Mason. “The tackling may not be appreciated at times, but there is a lot of contact that occurs.”
The Orthopaedic Group has opened Ortho Now, an urgent care clinic to examine sprains, broken bones and torn ligaments, avoiding the need to go to a hospital emergency room and wait for hours in a waiting room packed with flu patients.
Dr. Balldin says the key to safe play is preparation before the opening whistle sounds. He says you should make sure you are in generally good health by sticking to a balanced fitness program during the off season. Also, he says, always take plenty of time to stretch, because ‘cold’ muscles are far more prone to injury.
He says wearing the appropriate equipment is also important. He says the lower legs is where many soccer injuries occur.
“Ankle sprain is certain up there,” he said. “There are also very frequent bruises you get from being kicked in the lower leg, particularly the shin.”
He says players should always look around to make sure there is proper equipment on the soccer field as well, including well padded goals, and a good playing surface. He says the soccer ball needs to be in good shape as well.
“Soccer balls were made of leather and they were holding a lot of water and becoming heavy,” he said. So synthetic balls were created which remain light and less dangerous when playing on a wet surface.
Dr. Balldin says it is also critical for the adult coaches in youth soccer games be knowledgeable enough to recognize injuries, to make sure a player is fit enough to return to the field after suffering from a minor injury, and to understand what to do on the spot, and to promptly take the child to Ortho Now in case of a major sprain or break.
He says another key is not to try to play too many sports. This time of year, Dr. Balldin sees a lot of young people who are playing soccer, wrestling, and playing basketball, and that leads to ‘overuse injuries.’ But he says playing just one sport all year round is also dangerous for children and teens, so they should play different sports throughout the course of the year.
Dr. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine, with TSAOG. He treats patients aged 3 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions with the exception of the spine. His special interests include sports-related injuries and hip arthroscopy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, please call 210.281.9595.