Football is a high-contact and high-energy sport. The repetitive nature and high impact of the sport can leave players sidelined with a variety of different football injuries. If you yourself play football or if you have a child who plays football, it's important to know how to recognize some of the injuries that may occur while playing and how to treat them to minimize lasting damage before seeing a medical professional.
Recreational football players can sprain an ankle, dislocate a shoulder, or just push their bodies further than they can go, and end up with sore muscles the next day. Similar to other contact sports, knee and shoulder injuries in football are very common.
Additional common football injuries include:
To prevent injuries on the field, wear the proper equipment and a good pair of shoes to support your movements.
Football injury prevention starts before the season begins, including enrolling in the right conditioning and training program. Focus on maintaining and increasing flexibility, aerobic activities, strength exercises, and endurance drills.
Hydrate yourself before, during, and after games, especially when returning to the sport after a hiatus. Leading up to game day, you should eat foods high in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to give you the energy you will need to make it past halftime.
If you sustain any injuries on the football field, seek medical treatment or evaluation immediately. Follow the care instructions of your doctor, athletic trainer, or physical therapist. The RICE Method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) can help treat many sports-related injuries. Don't fumble your health!
The most important thing a player can do to avoid injury is prepare your body so it doesn't have to do more than it can handle. Experts suggest that athletes stay in shape, maintain flexibility, do aerobic activities, strengthening activities, endurance activities, acclimate to the hot temperatures of late summer, and stay well hydrated.
Individuals should consult a physician before beginning any kind of training or conditioning program. To learn more about UPMC Sports Medicine, or to schedule an appointment:
To schedule an appointment or ask a question, call 1-855-937-7678 or contact us online.
UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
8000 Cranberry Springs Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
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