Are you ready for some football? If so, you don’t have very long to wait. School teams and pee-wee leagues across the country begin their seasons as early as August, and the NFL will kick off its season September 10th with the New England Patriots facing off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Football is one of the most watched and played sports in the country, but unfortunately, it can also be one of the most dangerous. High impact tackles and blocks can result in contact injuries, while pivots, jumps and explosive movements can damage muscles, bones and joints. Whether you’re playing on the field or watching from the stands, keep an eye out for these common football injuries:
Football carries the highest risk for concussions, a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head. Symptoms of a concussion include headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, brief loss of consciousness, blurry vision, difficulty concentrating and drowsiness. Even if symptoms appear to be mild, a concussion can be serious and should always be examined by a doctor.
The ACL is the primary ligament that stabilizes the knee. Cutting movements and explosive bursts of speed can cause the ligament to over-stretch, resulting in a sprain or tear. ACL injuries are usually accompanied by an audible “pop” at the time of injury. Other symptoms include pain, swelling and instability in the knee.
Ankle sprains occur when the ankle rolls beyond its normal range of motion and tears the supporting ligaments. This often occurs during pivots, darting movements, tackles and jumps. Pain, swelling and bruising are the most common symptoms. In mild cases, the swelling should subside after a few days. Seek medical attention if you experience numbness, tingling, inability to move your ankle or if your foot feels cool or changes color.
AC joint injury
The AC joint is located in the shoulder where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade. This joint is prone to injury during tackles when a player lands directly on his shoulder or outstretched arm. Rest and ice should be applied to an AC injury immediately until it can be examined by a professional. A mild injury will heal on its own with rest, ice and compression, but a serious injury could require surgery.
Hamstring strains are often caused by muscle tightness, weakness or failure to warm up before physical activity. To treat a pulled hamstring, use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the pain. A mild injury will usually heal within a few days.
(Source: Star Physio)