Neck Pain When Performing a Soccer Header?

We recently had a patient who is a high school soccer player and her main complaint was having neck pain when performing headers during her soccer games and practices. She also had some mid back tightness and occasional low back pain during her games/practices. 

Neck pain and headaches are  very common soccer in soccer. Though they are not quite as common as ankle sprains, groin pain, or knee pain – this does not mean it is any less serious. Though soccer headers are safe overall, they can bring on neck pain or headaches if performed incorrectly (likely was not the issue in this case) or if there are any underlying neck mobility or stability issues.

We started with her like we start with all our patients – by hearing their story and listening to what their daily routine is and how it is being effected by their aches and pains. We then took her through a thorough assessment that included checking mobility, strength, and stability for her neck, mid-back, and low back. Some additional testing included checking core muscle strength and activation and gait evaluation. This allows us to not only give a diagnosis but to find the root of the problem and tell the patient “why” this has happened.

After a diagnoses was given and properly explained to the patient, we were ready to get her back to her goal of playing soccer pain-free! We used a combination of chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation), manual therapy (soft tissue/massage), and rehab exercises to help relieve the pain and tension!

We also gave her a couple exercises to do at home in between appointments to help accelerate her recovery. These exercises were given to her to increase mobility and stability in certain joints based off of our exam findings.

She did a wonderful job doing these exercises at home and her diligence has paid off as she has been playing soccer and performing headers without neck pain and back tightness!

If you or someone you know has a sports injury (especially someone who has neck pain or headaches when playing soccer!) and could benefit from our thorough approach and comprehensive care, please share this post with them or send them our way! You can even give us a call or text to find out if we would be a good fit for you or not!

Each youth athlete is very different – with a different body and different goals in their sport. Come in and let us get to know you so we can help you accomplish your goals on the field or court!

We are conveniently located in between CR 210 and Race Track Road, near where St. Johns Parkway and Longleaf Pine intersect! Right across the street from Patriot Oaks Academy in the 32259 zip code! 

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