Football is a well-known and loved sport. Because it is a high-impact and contact sport, players are often exposed to collisions, sudden injuries, repetitive stress, and micro-trauma that can result in overuse injuries.
Whether you play football as a hobby or are aspiring to be a professional football player, it is essential to learn about common football injuries, so that you can recognize them when they happen and receive treatment before any lasting damage occurs. Here are the most common football injuries that affect people playing this high-contact and high-energy sport.
When you’re playing football, you run a lot and change directions often, putting you at risk for sprains. Sprains occur when you twist soft tissues, causing them to stretch or tear. This condition may either be mild or severe, depending on the amount of damage your ligaments sustain. When this happens, you may feel an immobilizing pain and hear a popping sound. Swelling and bruising are also symptoms of a sprain.
In football, the ankle, knee, wrist, and shoulder are at a high risk of getting this type of injury. Immediate medical attention is necessary when you notice the symptoms of a sprain.
The quick starts and sudden direction changes in football also increase your risk for another common football injury — strains. Strains affect the muscles and tendons, the connective tissues that attach your muscles to your bone. Your hamstring muscles, in particular, are the most commonly affected in your body.
Pain, swelling, bruising, and limited motion are some of the symptoms of a muscle strain. Most of the time, a strain heals on its own. However, the repetitive nature of football may cause severe strains, which may need surgical repair to heal.
When bones in a joint move out of their normal position, you have a dislocation. This football injury often occurs due to trauma. Your shoulder, knee, elbow, and fingers are at high risk for this type of injury.
Immobilizing pain, swelling, bruising, and instability are some of the symptoms of a dislocation. This injury may require immediate medical attention to heal and prevent or minimize further complications like muscle strains and nerve damage.
As a high contact sport, football players also have an increased risk of getting a concussion, a traumatic brain injury. Often, this condition is mild and not harmful enough to cause permanent damage to the brain. However, multiple occurrences over a lifetime put you at a higher risk for structural changes and damage in the brain.
Headache is the most common symptom after a traumatic blow to the head. Confusion, blurry vision, nausea, and sensitivity are other signs of a concussion that may occur immediately or days after the incident. It is necessary to remember that although concussions may be mild, immediate medical care is still be needed to assess the damage and determine the proper treatment.
A fracture is a break in a bone. It is caused by forceful pressure on a bone that causes it to break. A stress fracture happens when a continuous or frequent force causes a bone to weaken and gradually develop a fracture. Both types of fractures are common among football players.
A fracture may be either simple or compound. A simple fracture, sometimes referred to as a closed fracture, occurs when the bone does not break through the skin. On the other hand, a compound fracture, also called an open fracture, refers to a bone that breaks and ruptures out of the skin.
When a fracture occurs – regardless of the type – you should seek immediate medical care to prevent complications.
Overuse of the muscles and bones may also lead to another football injury known as shin splints. The tibia or shin is the large bone found in the front of the lower leg. When athletes push themselves too much too quickly, they can develop shin splints and experience intense, burning pain along the tibia.
Tenderness, soreness, pain, and swelling are symptoms of shin splints. Sometimes, the pain subsides when you rest but may worsen over time and lead to a stress fracture. First aid treatments for this condition include rest, ice, and medication. If the pain worsens or does not get better with conservative measures, seek immediate medical care.
Football Injury Treatment in Central Maryland
Football is a highly engaging and fun sport. However, injuries and accidents are sometimes inevitable due to the nature of the game. Understanding the symptoms of these injuries is vital for diagnosis and determining whether conservative measures are enough or a doctor’s visit is unavoidable.
Our board-certified and experienced orthopedic doctors at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland aim to provide comprehensive and innovative care for all our patients with musculoskeletal problems, including football injuries.
You may stop at any of our clinics in Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg, Maryland, to consult with our providers. For inquiries or to schedule an appointment, you may reach us at (410) 644-1880 or use this secure online appointment form for your convenience.