Football is one of America’s favorite pastimes. It is also one of the most common sports played by high school and college athletes across the country. There is a football program at virtually every secondary school in the US, and young players line up by the dozens to get in line for a chance on the field.
However, football is a collision sport, and while pads and helmets do help protect the athletes, injuries happen more often than many would prefer to admit. Here is a quick run-down of some of the most common football injuries:
• Traumatic injuries: This refers to any sudden injury that can lead to significant and even long-term pain. The most common types of traumatic injuries are knee injuries, including tears to the ACL/PCL, which are ligaments in the knee, as well as to the menisci, which are the cartilage the knee joints. Also exceedingly common are shoulder injuries, including injuries to the ligaments and tendons of the shoulder, as well as dislocation.
• Concussion: This is a traumatic injury to the head that can result in disorientation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and blurry vision. Learn more about concussions at our PT Solutions Concussion Centers.
• Overuse injuries: These injuries develop over time, often coming on gradually and then becoming more severe. Overuse injuries typically include issues like low-back pain, as well as some development of knee pain.
• Heat injuries: Young football players are especially susceptible to heat injuries, which develop when athletes are exposed to prolonged activity in high or humid temperatures. Cramping is the most common example of a heat injury.
The Best Ways to Prevent Football Injuries
Football is a contact sport, and so there is always going to be a risk of injury when it comes to playing the game. However, to help reduce the chance of injury, ensure that all athletes are wearing proper protective gear and focus on technique of the positions being played as to decrease exposure to potential injury.
The Role the Athletic Trainer plays in Injury Prevention
It is important that athletes stay hydrated and participate when not injured. This is what a strong certified athletic trainer can offer the individual athlete, as well as the team. The best way to prevent an injury is by focusing on proper technique and taking care of the body by preparing muscles for activities.
By being on-site and supporting appropriate injury and prevention strategies, the athletic trainer can actually help prevent injury before it develops or worsens. When injury does strike, working with a physical therapist and athletic trainer from day one can mean a faster recovery and reduced pain.