What Are the Most Common Injuries in Football (Soccer)?

Football, aka soccer, is one of the most popular sports played here in Australia and internationally.

It’s played by everyone of all ages and includes families kicking the ball around at the park or in the backyard, friends playing socially at the park and competitively at a club level.

Unfortunately, sports and injuries come hand in hand and today I am here to discuss the most common injuries that are sustained in football.


Osgood Shlatters disease is a common injury that affects the knee for children under the age of 18. This is a condition where the tendon below the kneecap becomes painful and swollen. You can read more about this condition in our previous blog HERE.

Sever’s disease is a common injury that affects the Achilles tendon in growing children. It often results in pain and swelling of the Achilles tendon and can also cause pain in the calf and through the bottom of the foot. If you would like to know more about Sever’s, check our our previous post HERE.

Adults and adolescents


Hamstring strains/tears are the most commonly sustained injury. The hamstring muscle group plays a significant role during sprinting and running. Often the hamstring is torn during the acceleration phase of sprinting but can still occur during deceleration.

Most hamstring tears occur during the eccentric phase of muscle contraction, when the muscle is in a stretched position. The injury can vary from a grade 1 tear (micro tear) to a grade 3 tear (large rip) in the muscle. Hamstrings can also be torn at the attachment point of the muscle and even in the tendon further down the back of the leg.


Calf strains/tears are also quite common as these muscles provide a lot of power to accelerate, decelerate and change direction. The calves are constantly being used and unfortunately can make them susceptible to damage. The injury can vary from a grade 1 tear to a grade 3 tear.


Ankle injuries are another common occurrence in football. The most common ankle injury is an inversion injury that can cause damage to the Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament (ATFL) and the Calcaneofibular Ligament (CFL) on the outside of the ankle. These injuries often occur when a player changes direction, steps on another player’s foot, falls down, or from uneven surfaces or divots in the field.


Damage to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a common knee injury which can occur during a change of direction and or pivoting. ACL tears often happen when the upper body twists away from the foot while the foot is still planted. This causes shearing forces on the ligament which can result in a tear. Unfortunately when an ACL tears this can often lead to a tear of the ligament on the inner side of the knee , the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), or even tearing of the meniscus (the cartilage that cushions the inside of the knee).

Shin splints:

Players can sometimes experience sharp pain along the front of their shins. This condition is called shin splints and it can cause a variety of painful symptoms. The pain often intensifies with an increase in load either from training or from game time and can be accompanied by swelling along the shin bone. Inappropriate footwear, change of training surface, or weakness in certain muscles can lead to shin splints.

At Trilogy Physiotherapy our Physiotherapists have treated football players for years and understand the requirements of the sport. If you are a football player and would like to discuss your risk factors for injury or seek treatment for any current injuries, please BOOK NOW to see how our physios can help you kick those goals!

Read more….

To learn more about returning to exercise after injury, check out our blog HERE
To learn more about squat techniques, check out our blog HERE
To learn more about the difference between rehab and prehab, check our our blog HERE


Pfirrmann, D., Herbst, M., Ingelfinger, P., Simon, P., & Tug, S. (2016). Analysis of Injury Incidences in Male Professional Adult and Elite Youth Soccer Players: A Systematic Review. Journal of athletic training, 51(5), 410–424. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-51.6.03

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