hot soccer player 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Now that soccer fans are realizing that the World Cup is over until 2014, the
younger ones may be tempted to play the game themselves. Dr. Bezalel Paskin,
head of the knee unit at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa – and also team
orthopedist of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team – offered advice on Sunday to help
prospective players avoid getting hurt.
The first rule – which is apt for
all sports and exercise – is to warm up before you play by running or stretching
muscles to get your blood circulation going, he said, as going straight into
physical activity can lead to pain and strain. In addition, it is preferable to
play soccer on a soft surface, such as grass or sand, and not on concrete, which
can result in injuries.
Soccer games should be supervised, said Paskin,
to ensure that it is played properly and without roughhousing that is against
In addition, sports shoes such as those worn for basketball or
running are not suited to soccer. If you play on a hard surface, the shoes must
have shock absorbers, and if you play on grass, shoes with cleats are needed, he
“They should not be too large or too small,” he asserted. “It’s a
mistake to [try and] save money on shoes to play soccer.”
If one is
injured (not seriously) during play and the pain doesn’t pass in a reasonable
time, Paskin said, one should go straight to a hospital orthopedics outpatient
Dr. Naama Constantini, chief of sports medicine at Hadassah
Optimal and part of the orthopedics department at Hadassah-University Medical
Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood, added that synthetic grass should
be avoided as a playing field if possible, as it is believed to cause more
injuries and back problems compared to real grass.
In addition, she urged
youngsters to make sure they weren’t playing in a dangerous place such as on a
street or in a parking lot.
People in their 30s or older who have watched
the games on TV and suddenly want to relive their childhoods by playing
go for a checkup with their doctor or a sports medicine specialist to
that their bodies are up to it, she added.
The obligatory warmup before
playing should slowly increase the heartbeat and not only warm up the
ligaments, said Constantini.
“Do not suddenly sprint into the
Butting the ball with your head is a traditional part of soccer,
she said, but if it hits you at high speed, there can be trauma to the
“It’s important to use the right technique and to strengthen the
muscles of your neck [as per] advice from an expert,” said the sports
And finally, she said, as soccer is usually played in the
summer, it is vital to make sure to drink plenty of water before and
game and to play when it is cooler and not at the height of the day’s