Common American Football Injuries and Prevention Tips
American football is one of the most viewed and played sports in the United States. The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that over 920,000 athletes under 18 years of age were treated in healthcare facilities for football-related injuries in 2007. Some of the most common injuries faced by football athletes include:
When it comes to American Football, concussions are one of the most common injuries. They occur because of a traumatic impact. Signs that accompany a concussion include headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, loss of balance, nausea, numbness, drowsiness, and difficulty in concentrating. A concussion can be severe. If you think you might have suffered such an injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
During the hot season, this is a big concern. Intense training sessions during the summer can cause injuries. Excessive sweating can deplete the body of its salt and water content. A major heat injury symptom is cramping. If not treated with simple cooling and fluids, you might suffer from a heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Lower back or general back pain is a common complaint among American Football players because of overuse. Most times, a leading cause of this injury type is over training syndrome. That’s when a player trains too much beyond the ability of his body to quickly recover. Another common problem is knee pain, which can typically be dealt with using a quadriceps-strengthening program.
In football, knee injuries are a common occurrence, particularly those to the knee cartilage and anterior or posterior cruciate ligament. Those knee injuries can negatively impact a player’s involvement in the game. Football players are also prone to ankle sprains because of the playing surfaces and cutting movements.
Shoulder injuries are also prevalent. The labrum (a cartilage bumper on the socket area of the shoulder) is especially susceptible to injury for offensive and defensive linemen. Additionally, injuries to the acromioclavicular joint, are seen in football athletes.
Injury Prevention Tips
Football (American) is activity plagued with injuries. However, this does not have to be the case. There are some things that can be done to prevent the likelihood of getting injured:
- Remain active during the off-season: Without regular exercise, the muscles and ligaments can become inactive, weak, or inflexible. In such a case, you will be more prone to injury. Though you do not need to play football throughout to remain in shape, it is critical to include other activities such as swimming, weight training, jogging, etc.
- Ease yourself into the activity: If you start the season at 100% intensity before your body has adjusted to the strains of the game, injury is more likely. Take things slowly.
- Physical and wellness assessment: Undergo a complete physical and wellness assessment before the football season starts. That will help to determine your readiness and find out potential conditions of concern.
- Do some proper warm-up before playing: Cold, stiff muscles are more susceptible to injury. To lower the likelihood of injury, warm-up, and cool down before the game starts.
- Stretch before and after football activity: Doing so will help to loosen your muscles for added flexibility.
- Wear proper equipment: Whenever you play, always remember to put on a helmet, hip pads, knee pads, shoulder pads, tail pads, thigh guards, proper fitting shoes, mouth guards and athletic supporter.
- Stay hydrated always: Dehydration can cause cramps and induce overheating and disorientation. Such occurrences can make players more likely to incur injuries.
- Tackle properly: Always keep your head up and resist the urge to lead with the helmet.
- Do not play through the pain: when you experience severe pain, commencing with the activity might worsen the condition. Stop playing and look for medical help immediately.
If you have more questions or have incurred a sports injury, you can consult a Podiatrist New York NY specialist.
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