Football is an intensive sport that provides competition and fun for children and adults. However, it also comes with its own set of possible injuries like any other physical activity. Many of its injuries involve the lower extremities because the sport relies heavily on the legs. By understanding these common football injuries, you can know how to avoid them.
Contact sports like football carry a high risk of concussions, which occurs when your head hits something hard, The skull encloses the brain while the cerebrospinal fluid cushions it. During a collision, the impact can make the brain hit the inside of the skull and cause trauma
Concussions are usually mild, but sometimes, they may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or drowsiness. More serious cases may also involve significant confusion, dizziness, or amnesia. Other symptoms may appear days or weeks after the injury, like:
- Memory issues
- Personality changes
- Disturbance of the senses
Any neurological symptoms warrant immediate medical intervention. If you suspect a concussion, your doctor will order neurological and cognitive tests to assess the impact on your brain function. They may also recommend imaging tests to check for abnormalities. Additionally, you will need extensive rest to allow the body to heal. As your symptoms improve, your doctor may recommend a return-to-play program. The regimen will help reintroduce you to physical activities.
To prevent a concussion, football players should wear protective gear that fits adequately. Regular training and first aid training may also help reduce accident rates and allow for better injury response.
Brachial Plexus Injury
The nerves in your shoulders and upper extremities form the brachial plexus, a network entering the spinal cord near your neck. With enough physical trauma, it can receive damage and cause a brachial plexus injury. This type of injury is common in football players because of the heavy use of the upper body and the high risk of collisions in the sport.
Stingers are mild cases that can occur from contact sports like football. A common symptom is electric or burning sensations traveling down the affected arm. Sometimes, players may also feel numbness or weakness. Stingers usually resolve by themselves within a few days at most. More serious cases may cause muscle control issues and severe pain. If you tear your brachial plexus, you might completely lose mobility and sensation.
For players who experience stingers, daily mobility exercises are useful in preventing stiffness. You may also wear padding to protect the affected area from further damage during matches. In severe cases, you may need prompt surgery to restore nerve conduction.
The knee joint has a complex system of bones, tendons, and ligaments that provides it with a wide range of motion. Unfortunately, football can place a lot of stress on this joint.
Sudden pivots, changes in direction, or direct trauma to your knees can damage them, leading to a lot of pain and significant mobility issues. A torn meniscus is a common injury involving damage to the C-shaped cartilage protecting the knee’s inner surfaces. This can cause inflammation and make the joint stiff.
Common symptoms are pain, swelling, and popping sensations when moving the affected knee. You might be unable to straighten your knee fully or bear weight on the affected leg.
Consult a medical professional, especially if your symptoms are severe, and prevent you from playing further. Mild cases can resolve with rest and ice application, but many patients need medication, physical therapy, and surgery. Accurate diagnostics and effective treatments can help minimize complications and maximize your recovery
An ACL injury happens when your anterior cruciate ligament sustains damage. The ACL is a tough band of tissue that helps connect your shinbone to your thigh bone. Some symptoms are a loud pop during the event, severe pain, mobility loss, and knee instability.
Consult a medical professional, especially if your symptoms are severe, and prevent you from playing further.
Mild cases can resolve with rest and ice application, but many patients need medication, physical therapy, and surgery. Accurate diagnostics and effective treatments can help minimize complications and maximize your recovery.
The ankle is another joint that is vulnerable to injury due to the demands placed on it during football. A single misstep is enough to overstretch or tear your ligament, causing pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Treatment modalities tend to be similar to treatments for knee injuries. Mild cases only need bed rest and ice application to reduce inflammation as the injury heals. Medications can help with pain and inflammation relief. More advanced cases may need surgery to repair damaged tissue.
To prevent ankle injuries, athletes should warm up and cool down before and after playing. Good shoes and regular conditioning also reduce the risk of injuries.
Treatment For Sports Injuries In Baltimore, MD
Football players face a high risk of injuries like concussions, nerve damage, and sprains. Fortunately, good preparation and qualified orthopedic guidance can protect you. They can also help ensure that you keep playing at your highest performance potential.
The Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland provides comprehensive treatment for sports injuries in Baltimore, MD. Our providers are trained, experienced, and excited to help you recover. We provide compassionate orthopedics in Baltimore because we believe you should feel good to the bone!
Learn more by calling us at (410) 644-1880. You can also book a consultation with the best orthopedic surgeon in Baltimore by using our online appointment scheduler.