Fall is synonymous with football season. In Dallas, we love sitting around our televisions, cheering for the Cowboys and our favorite college and high school football teams, and watching our kids play in local leagues. While football is one of the most popular sports for us Texans, it also causes the highest number of sports injuries. We’ve compiled a list of common injuries, as well as some football injury prevention tips.
Football Injury Prevention: Concussions
Concussions are one of the most common football injuries. They are caused by severe trauma to the head, making the brain hit the inside of the skull. Watch for signs of a concussion injury, which include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, numbness, and headaches. If you’ve suffered a concussion injury, do not participate in football again without first receiving approval from a doctor.
Football Injury Prevention: Overuse Injuries
Overuse injuries are most frequently caused by training. When a player sustains an injury and returns to the sport, he can often push himself too hard in his desire to reach the same level of performance as before the injury. It can also occur when a player returns to the sport too soon after an injury, not giving his body time to heal properly. Some players are more disposed to overuse injuries than others.
Football Injury Prevention: Traumatic Injuries
Some of the most common football injuries involve the knees, shoulders, and ankles. Ankles are easily sprained due to side-to-side cutting, receiving an impact from another player in a tackle, and running on the field. Shoulder injuries can occur because of the nature of football itself and are often a result of constant throwing motions, aggressive tackles, or a fall. Injuries involving the knee are most likely to end a player’s football season or career. The most common knee injuries are a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL).
Football Injury Prevention: Heat Injuries
Heat injuries occur most frequently during the warmer months at the beginning of the season. These injuries are caused when players train in sweltering temperatures and high levels of humidity. Extreme sweating can reduce the body’s levels of water and salt. Heat injuries should not be taken lightly. If not treated, they can lead to heat strokes.
Football Injury Prevention Tips
We’ve compiled some tips to help prevent football injuries:
- Prioritize warming up and cooling down before practicing or playing.
- Drink extra water to stay hydrated and healthy.
- Make sure your protective equipment fits properly and never play without wearing it.
- Continue working out during the off-season to keep your body in shape.
- Before the season begins, get a health evaluation.
- When you tackle, be sure to keep your head up and never lead a tackle with your helmet.
- Concerned about preventing football injuries? Meet with a sports medicine professional or a trainer to discuss prevention tactics.