What You Need to Know about 5 Common Football Injuries

Common Football Injuries


Football season brings along a lot of joy and excitement for the fans. However, if you’re a football player, then the beginning of a new season might mean exposure to numerous injuries which can easily jeopardize your career. Here is all you need to know about common injuries in football.

  1. Shoulder Dislocations

Commonly caused by sudden falls or tackles, a shoulder dislocation results in the humerus (upper arm bone) being forced out of its socket. Shoulder dislocations are very common in contact sports such as football and symptoms include severe pain and a popping sound or sensation around the shoulder region. There are two main types of shoulder dislocations; anterior dislocation, whereby the humerus falls forward toward the chest, and posterior dislocation, whereby the humerus slips towards the back. When performing first aid on a dislocated shoulder, ensure that you have properly immobilized the shoulder to prevent further damage to tissue.

  1. Rotator Cuff Tears

The rotator cuff tendon comprises of 4 muscles which secure the upper arm bone in its socket, thereby preventing dislocation. When these muscles are strained due to falling on an outstretched arm (the common position for landing a touchdown), then the resulting effect is weakness, pain and stiffness in the affected area. Within the first 72 hours of sustaining a rotator cuff strain, implement the RICE method (rest, ice, compress and elevate). If symptoms persist, seek medical advice by visiting Chris Brown, MD who is a qualified sports medicine expert and specializes in shoulder and knee injuries.

  1. Anterior Cruciate Ligament(ACL) tear

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the two main ligaments that join the femur to the tibia. It runs from the front to the back, thereby preventing overextension of the knee joint. ACL tears are commonly caused by a rapid change in running direction and they can be classified as a grade 1 tear, grade 2 tear or grade 3 tear depending on the number of fibers which are torn. Grade 2 and 3 tears usually require specialized medical attention and they take the longest time to heal.

  1. Patella tendonitis

The patella (or knee cap) is a small bone embedded within the quadriceps tendon at the front of the knee joint. Patellar tendonitis is caused by inflammation of the tendon and surrounding tissues, thereby resulting in pain and swelling in the affected area. This injury is commonly seen in high velocity sports such as football which involve rapid changing of direction. Strengthening exercises are encouraged after this injury has healed so as to avoid its recurrence.

  1. Biceps tears

Football practice sessions often involve a lot of heavy lifting and biceps tears can occur due to excessive force being exerted on the muscles of the upper arm. A characteristic sign of complete biceps tendon rupture is the presence of a prominent bulge on the upper arm caused by the upward retraction of the biceps muscle. This is known as the Popeye sign and it is best recognized when the elbow is flexed. The vast majority of biceps tears occur near the shoulder as opposed to near the elbow.

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