Sports are a great way to stay fit, and that’s something for which people are looking right now, with Covid-19 keeping many gyms closed across the country. They’re also a way that you can be competitive and trash talk with your friends a little. Some amateur sports leagues are operating even during the pandemic, with the participants wearing masks.

While there’s an upside to sports, it’s also true that you need to watch out for injury when you engage in them. Soft tissue injuries can take place as the result of several sports and certain ones in particular.

Here are the four sports where soft tissue injuries are most common.

Jun 30, 2018; Kazan, Russia; Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) reacts in the round of 16 game against France during the FIFA World Cup 2018 at Kazan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports


Soccer, or football, as European countries often call it, is a fun game for amateurs to play. Soccer:

  • Works many different muscle groups
  • Is a fast-paced game that burns a ton of calories
  • Requires very little equipment other than a ball and a couple of goals  

Unfortunately, it’s also a sport where it’s easy to get a soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries can limit your ability to move without pain, so you should take that into account before trying this activity.

Sprains are soft tissue injuries, and sprained ankles happen all the time on the soccer field. If that happens to you, you might be on the shelf for a few weeks before you’re able to move around pain-free again.


Sep 12, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) stretches for a first down against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The American version of football is also a good time, even if you’re nothing close to a professional. For football:

  • All you need is the right number of players, a ball, and a field or vacant lot
  • You can usually get a pick-up game together very easily since lots of people love to play it

You have to acknowledge, though, that football is inherently dangerous. Many pro careers end due to injury, and soft tissue injuries abound even at the amateur level.

If someone slams into you on the field and falls on top of you, it’s easy to sprain a wrist or injure your knee. That’s the kind of injury that you might need physical therapy to resolve, and it might linger for months afterward.


Feb 25, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) celebrates his goal over fallen Calgary Flames center Derek Ryan (10) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey isn’t as easy of a game to get together as soccer or American football. If you want to play like the pros, then you need a skating rink and skates, in addition to sticks, a puck, and goals at either end.

You can always play with roller skates or in-line skates on the street. If you have two goals or nets, or something that functions as them, you’re in business.

Much like with either of the other sports we mentioned, a soft tissue injury is just waiting to happen if you play the game roughly. Some people get competitive when they’re out there. If you give someone a hard hip check, then they can go down on the pavement.

Skinned knees and elbows happen this way, as do sprains and other soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries also include cuts.

It’s easy to see yourself getting lacerated playing street hockey, so if you’re going to do it, take it easy a little. It’s one thing to play hard, but it’s another to go head-hunting.



Rugby is a sport that Americans haven’t picked up that much. Usually, where you encounter it is in colleges. It’s not likely that you’ll have a pick-up rugby game taking place in the park in most American cities unless there are some immigrants who have brought it over with them.

Like soccer or football, it’s easy to injure yourself playing rugby. Broken bones are common since this is a hard-contact sport and a wide variety of soft tissue injuries as well. Ligament, tendon, or muscle damage can occur if you hyperextend something or someone falls on you.

Regardless of which of these sports you decide to try, remember that you’re out there for the exercise and the fun of it. Getting too aggressive serves no purpose. You might have a friendly rivalry with some individuals from the next neighborhood over, but you don’t want to send someone off the field on a stretcher.

Try to wear pads, stretch before you start playing, and establish some ground rules. Don’t commit a hard foul on anyone, and hopefully, they’ll take the same precautions with you. That’s how you can be sure that you’ll get back out there and play again the next day.