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Soccer Safety and Injury Prevention

May 23, 2019

Atlantic Health System doctors continue to build healthier communities, even outside the walls of our hospitals.

James Wittig sponsors New Jersey United Football Club

James C. Wittig, MD, Chairman, Orthopedic Surgery, Morristown Medical Center and Medical Director, Orthopedic SurgeryOrthopedic Oncology and Sarcoma Surgery, Atlantic Health System, recently sponsored the New Jersey United Football Club, which is now headed to the state championships. His sponsorship provided uniforms, equipment and travel expenses for the men’s, women’s and children’s teams. Jerrmain Clarke, a scrub technician for the orthopedic team at Morristown Medical Center, serves as the team’s coach.

If your preferred exercise is soccer, play safely and protect yourself. Here are five tips from Andrew Willis, MD, Chief of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at Morristown Medical Center:

  1. Proper warm up and stretching prior to competition is critical to reducing muscle injuries.
  2. Select footwear appropriate to playing surfaces (ie: natural grass vs. turf) to reduce ankle and knee injuries.
  3. Adolescents with persistent hip flexor pain should be evaluated by a sports medicine doctor as this may indicate a potential growth plate injury.
  4. Player collisions are not uncommon and may result in head trauma or a concussion. Symptoms can be immediate or delayed. All players with suspected concussions should not return to play until evaluated and cleared by a doctor specializing in concussions.
  5. Respect the heat. Younger athletes generate more heat for their body weight than adults and take longer to acclimatize to warm weather. Appropriate hydration prior to games with frequent water breaks is important to avoiding heat-related illness.

Learn more about sports health >