It’s Fall and that means Football! Unfortunately, Football is a dangerous sport and can cause intense strain to the muscles and ligaments of the body. The most common injuries reported are in the legs, knees or ankle. This is a result of the frequency of the start and stop movements required of the sport. Statistics have shown that more than 85% of high school football players will experience some type of football injury during their career.

Common Football Injuries

  ACL Injury - A direct front or rear hit can cause the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee to tear or become damaged. MCL Injury - A side hit can cause a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament on the inside of the knee. Torn meniscus - Aggressive pivoting, sudden stops and turns, kneeling, and even squatting can cause the meniscus cartilage to tear. Ankle Sprains and Strains - Pressure to the ligaments, along with the aggression of the game cause soft tissue damage leading to sprains and strains. Muscle Contusion - A bruise so deep and large that it can impair muscle function. It’s most often seen in the thigh area. Torn Hamstring - Quick start and stop movements can cause the hamstring muscles to tear. Shoulder Tendinitis - Repetitive throwing can cause inflammation of the tendons in the shoulder.

Prevention of Football Injuries

  Pre-season Wellness Evaluation - All players should have a pre-season physical to determine their readiness to play and uncover any condition that may limit participation or cause injury. Stay Fit - Maintain good health by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly in the football off-season. A combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching exercises will reduce risk of injuries. Warm Up - Stretching and warming up your body gradually before a practice or game will aid in preventing injuries. Specific areas like the hips, knees, thighs and calves should be . Cool down - Stretching and cooling down is equally as important at the end of practice, as it is at the beginning. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles flexible. Hydrate - Dehydration can hurt performance and cause cramping. Try to drink at least 24 ounces of water or hydrating beverage 2 hours before activity. While in practice or during a game, consume 8 oz. of water every 20 minutes. Wear Proper Equipment - The game of football requires several types of protective equipment. Make sure all equipment is fitted properly before playing the game.

Proper Football Equipment

  Helmet Chin Strap Mouth Guard Jockstrap   football girdle mcdavid Football Girdles     Shoulder & Chest Pads/Protection shoulder chest protection mcdavid      Knee, Elbow, Shin Pads McDavid Knee Elbow Shin Pads       Compression Sleeves McDavid Compression Sleeve         Resources: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00549 UNCC National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. http://nccsir.unc.edu/ Sport Safety International. http://www.sportsafetyinternational.org/new-ncaa-guidelines-aim-improve-safety/ Sports Medicine About.com.   http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/footballinjuries/a/footballinjury.htm  

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