Common Football Injuries and Treatment
Football is an extremely physical and dangerous sport in America. Despite wearing helmets, pads, braces, and supports, injuries to football players are part of the game. Unfortunately, the large size of heavy athletes, the accelerated speed of play, and the physical nature of the game are all causes of many football injuries.
Here are some of the most common injuries associated with playing football:
Sprains and Strains
The most common types of football injuries are sprains and strains. Treatments of sprains and strains are usually administered using the ‘RICE’ method – which stands for rest, ice, compression, & elevate.
Ankle sprains are commonly experienced injuries that football players suffer. The earlier this problem is recognized and diagnosed, the faster the recovery.
Twenty-five percent of all severe football injuries are bone fractures. Football fractures usually include bones in the fingers, wrists, and legs.
If a football has suffered a leg injury, it is most likely one of the following:
Turf toe – a main joint sprain in the big toe – are painful injuries. Rapid movements on artificial turf are often the cause of a toe injury.
Tendonitis is a painful condition on the back of the ankles. If left untreated, tendonitis of the Achilles can lead to an increased risk of an ACL Tear.
In all sports, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most common knee injury. For football players, an ACL tear can sideline an athlete for months. In conjunction with an MCL injury or a meniscus tear, the rehabilitation time for an ACL tear can linger on for almost a year.
When the meniscus is injured, it is from the tearing of knee cartilage. The meniscus has two pieces of cartilage that cushion and supports the knee joint.
A hip pointer usually means that there is a bruised bone bruise. However, a hip pointer could also be a fracture of the pelvis. Hip Pointer injuries typically occur when tackling.
Hamstrings start at the bottom of the buttocks and extend to the back of the knees. Common symptoms include a sudden, sharp pain at the end of the thigh.
Knee ligament injuries
The four ligaments in the knee connect the thighbone to the shinbone:
- ACL – Anterior cruciate ligament
- PCL – Posterior cruciate ligament
- MCL – Medial collateral ligament
- LCL – Lateral collateral ligament
These ligament injuries can cause athletes to be unable to bend their knees. Common causes of injuries to these knee ligaments include changing direction suddenly and taking direct hits to the knee.
Here is a list of common injuries to football players, by position:
Quarterbacks: Shoulder injuries, elbow problems, concussions
Running Backs and Fullbacks: Broken legs, knee sprains, ankle sprains, hamstrings
Offensive Linemen: Ankle injuries, triceps injuries, back injuries, pectoral tears
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: ACL and MCL tears, hand/finger, knee injuries
Defensive Linemen: Calf strain, eye problems, neck issues, shoulder pain
Linebackers: Pectoral tears, Achilles problems, foot issues
Defensive Backs: Hamstrings, foot injuries
Special Teams: Hamstrings, concussions
Common Football Head Injuries
In football, concussions usually occur during a tackle. The head snaps back or can strike the ground. A concussion is dangerous – it is trauma to the brain. Concussions typically cause several temporary effects. These effects include headache, memory problems, concentration p
roblems, and difficulties with balance and coordination.
Common Football Back Injuries
Thankfully, spine injuries in football are rare in all levels of football. Most of these injuries occur when defensive football players are tackling, often when employing unsportsmanlike techniques.
Rotator cuff strains
The rotator cuff has four muscles that support the arm in the shoulder joint.
Symptoms of rotator cuff strains include sudden pain in the shoulder or a tearing sensation. Rotator cuff pain may be severe and can sometimes radiate down the arm.
Muscle Strains in Football
Muscle strains, or pulled or torn muscles, usually occur in the quadriceps on the front of the thighs.
For help with football injuries and to get the right treatment, contact Charschan Chiropractic and Sports Injury Consultants. Our treatment plan includes the necessary treatment technique along with the required stretches, exercises and active rehabilitative care. To better serve you, we have two convenient locations: North Brunswick, NJ, and Scotch Plains, NJ.