Are you ready for some football? If so, it’s time to also get ready for some frequent football injuries. They go hand and hand with this sport, maybe more so than any other. Running, tackling, changing direction while running, falling, and overuse of a part of your body all contribute to football injuries from head to toe.
Weekend warriors, professionals, high school and college players, and even the pee wee leagues can expect frequent football injuries, so what should you be on the lookout for?
Concussions From Head Injuries
This type of injury has been in the news during the last decade a bit more than before, and for good reason. Even with the proper protective gear and special helmets, a player can still suffer a concussion or eventually develop CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) causing trauma to the brain, loss of short term memory, confusion, and loss of consciousness. This type of injury can be the most long lasting and detrimental result of playing football. The more concussions a player suffers, the more at risk they are for developing CTE, which is why you often see some very short football careers in the NFL.
One quarter of all football injuries are the result of a fracture. Players can fracture their shoulder/clavicle from a hard hit or from a fall. They can also fracture a finger from falling or a blow. A hip pointer is a deep bruise or fracture of the pelvis as a result of tackling.
Neck And Shoulder Injuries
Even with state of the art shoulder pads, athletes can still experience shoulder separations and dislocations from a hard fall, a blow, or trying to stop a fall with their hand. Whiplash and neck strains are possible if a player suffers from a hyperextension of the neck from a tackle.
A semi-common occurrence, a torn rotator cuff occurs from overuse of the shoulder, especially from throwing the football.
Players can sprain their hands by attempting to stop a fall, and develop wrist tendonitis from overuse.
Injuries Of The Knee And Leg
ACL and PCL injuries are quite common in football. This injury to the anterior or posterior cruciate ligament occurs with a sudden twist or a direct blow. The meniscus cartilage in the knee can be injured while running and changing direction, or from a blow.
Groin pulls in the inner thigh can also occur from changing direction when running. Players can pull, tear or strain their hamstrings in the back of the thigh from running. Strained calf muscles occur from a sudden acceleration while running or by abruptly changing direction.
Foot And Ankle Injuries
Sprained ankles happen with severe stretching or tearing ligaments around the ankle. One chronic football injury is Achilles Tendonitis. This pain in the back of the ankle occurs with overuse, and if left untreated, it can lead to a serious tendon rupture.
Other common football injuries involve the back. Players can suffer from a herniated disc due to a fall or repetitive strains. Others can have low back pain from muscle strains and trauma to the back from tackles.
Precautions When Playing Football
Warm up and cool down whether you are just practicing or actually playing the game. Have the proper protective gear and drink enough fluids to remain hydrated especially in the heat. See your doctor prior to joining a high school or college team.
If you happen to experience injury, be sure to allow enough time afterwards for your body to heal properly. Always see your doctor after a head injury to check for concussion.