Fall is here! With the cool winds and beautiful colour change of leaves comes football season. While it is a sport enjoyed by many, there is also some risk involved with it.
Even with proper training and technique, injuries can and will happen. So prepare yourself by knowing what to look for. These are the five most common areas where football injuries can happen.
1) Knee Injuries from Football
Ligament and Meniscus Injuries: There are a lot of forces placed on the knee, especially plant and twist movements and being tackled. These types of injuries (ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL, medial or lateral meniscus) range from mild to severe (sprains to ruptures). Pending on severity, knee braces can be worn during competition but be sure to check with your sport organization regarding rules for bracing.
Jumpers Knee: An overuse injury (patellar tendonitis) which causes pain in the tendon that attaches the kneecap to the shinbone.
2) Shoulder Injuries from Football
Rotator Cuff: Four muscles make up the rotator cuff, and these muscles are essential for stabilizing the joint. Almost every position in football requires full use of the shoulder.
Shoulder Separations: An injury to the ligaments (stretch or tear) that hold your collarbone to your shoulder blade. The most common cause of a separated shoulder is a blow to the shoulder or a fall directly on your shoulder.
3) Foot & Ankle Injuries from Football:
Sprained Ankles: Rolling an ankle can happen many ways; there are uneven surfaces while playing, stepping on another players foot, or being tackled or fell on. Wearing ankle braces to protect against further damage to the joint can help athletes return to play.
Achilles Tendonitis: Causes pain, inflammation and even potential for degeneration of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. There are varying levels of irritation. You can play with this injury, but it will affect performance.
4) Soft Tissue Injuries from Football:
Muscle Strains: The lower body tends to be more effected in football. Hamstrings, quadriceps, calf, and groins are common strains which can happen. Compression, rest, and ice are great ways to help recovery. Learn more about cold therapy.
Bruising: Its football! No matter how hard you try not to, you are going to get some bruises.
5) Head Injuries from Football:
Concussions: Often happen during a tackle, as the head snaps and strikes the ground. This is a serious trauma. Can cause temporary effects including headache and problems with memory, concentration, judgment, balance and coordination.
Be safe while playing. Your body will tell you when something is wrong. Football is a fun sport to play, but you want to stay healthy so you CAN play it. Some helpful tips are:
- Proper warm-up and cool-down routines
- Stay hydrated to maintain health and minimize cramps
- Get proper rest so your body can recover
- Wear properly fitted protective equipment
- Speak with a sports medicine professional or doctor if you have any concerns about football injuries or football injury prevention strategies
Do you or a loved one have a football injury that is keeping you or them off the field this season? Contact the Arthritis & Injury Care Centre to learn more about how we can help.