The high-contact nature of the sport and the speed of play make football a very entertaining sport to watch. However, there is always the risk of injury that you should consider when playing the game. Let’s look at common football injuries and how to avoid them.
- Knee ligament injuries: The anterior cruciate ligament is an important knee stabilizer. It can be injured when making sudden changes in direction while running.
- Meniscus injury: A direct blow to the knee could occur during a tackle resulting in damage to the knee cartilage.
- Hamstring tears: Injury to the muscles that run along the back of your thighs usually occur during sprinting or making sudden starts and stops.
- Hip pointers: It is a bruise sustained on the side of your hip due to collision with another player or falling on the ground.
- Shin splints: This condition is characterized by pain in the lower leg region due to inflammation of the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the shinbone. It is usually caused by lack of conditioning.
- Iliotibial band syndrome: This is a type of overuse injury where pain is felt in the hip and outside of the thigh region.
- Concussions: Football players have a high risk of developing traumatic brain injuries as a result of high velocity collisions or falling on the field.
Preventing Football Injuries
The saying “Prevention is better than Cure” certainly holds true with regards to playing football:
- Always wear well fitting protective equipment such as helmets, pads, football shoes and mouth-guards.
- Take the time to warm up thoroughly before each game and cool down afterwards by performing gentle stretches.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water to prevent the risk of developing muscle cramps and dehydration.
- Be consistent with your strength training program and other conditioning exercises so you are fit enough to withstand the rigors of the game.
- Don’t “play through the pain.” Getting caught up in the heat of the moment and pushing your body to the limit greatly increases the likelihood of injury.
If you have not been active in a while, it might be a good idea to undergo a medical evaluation before participating in any physically demanding sport like football.
Dr. Frisch is a specialist orthopedic surgeon focusing on minimally invasive hip and knee joint replacement as well as regenerative treatments for enhanced healing. He believes in creating a very personalized experience with the highest level of service. For all appointments & inquiries, please contact our offices located in Rochester and River District, MI.