The Most Common Injuries In Football and how to prevent them
22 Jun 2020
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Football is the most popular sports watched across the world. This sport is full of high intensity exercise and aerobic endurance, it requires development of  coordination, agility, balance and a sense of teamwork.However, football players should be aware of the risk of soft tissue and bone injuries which can be sustained. A brief knowledge of most common football injuries is not only necessary for injury prevention, but also for the early diagnosis and prompt treatment of the affected area.According to a detailed study, researchers have determined the most common injuries in men’s soccer by reviewing injury surveillance data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Over several years of the study, more than six thousand injuries from 62 ,000 practices and 6,281injuries from at least 22 ,000 football games were reported.Some general findings of the study include;The risk of injuries was 4 times higher during games than during practices.Injuries occurred during practice sessions were often non-contacted (25%), while 75% of the game injuries were often as a result of close contact between players (1).During both practices and games, more than 60% of injuries involve lower extremities.Game injuries often occurred during the last 15-20 minutes of the session2. What are the most common football injuries?, according to the percentage.Ankle SprainSprains and strains in the lower extremities are the most common football injuries, according to the study conducted by orthopedics and rehabilitation department of the University Of Rochester Medical Center (2).More specifically, an injury involving the ankle is by far the most common injury in football players according to the surveillance data from a study (3). It accounts for 17% of all injuries in both practices and games.Ankle sprain commonly occurs when you suddenly change your direction or make a sudden stop while running - causing ankle joint to twist in an unnatural position. This type of injury can be serious if not treated properly but can be effectively managed following the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevate) along with self management advice from a professional sports injury therapist.Ankles are vulnerable to re-sprains that have not healed properly. This study also reveals that the percentage of recurrent ankle sprains is quite high and may account for 24% of the total sprain injuries.It’s safe to start with some light exercise when the symptoms such as pain and inflammation have subsided. Riding a resistance bike, light jogging on a treadmill and aqua jogging are good physical activities, to begin with. You should not make the mistake of resuming football as soon as you are symptom-free. A lack of ankle stability, as you can expect after an ankle sprain injury, can lead to recurrent ankle sprains and chronic foot problems.A remedial massage therapist can improve swelling in the joint. It’s important to consult with a professional after an ankle sprain as he will be able to give you the best recommendations and support throughout your recovery. Our MY sports Injury clinic in Manchester provides a fully tailored rehabilitation program to ensure ankle stability is maintained throughout the season and a smooth recovery back to normal activities reducing any setbacks.Hamstring StrainAlso called pulled hamstring, it is one of the most common injuries across all sports, including football. Hamstrings are the group of three muscles that originate from the hip bone and run down the back of the thigh to be attached to the knee joint. Hamstring strain injuries account for 7.5 percent of all football injuries, according to data from the 2004/05-2008/09 seasons collected by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). (4)Sudden sharp pain at the back of the thigh is the commonest symptom of a hamstring strain. It usually occurs whilst sprinting, kicking a football or performing a fast stretching movement. During such physical activities, the hamstrings muscle tissue may suffer a tear/s because of the forceful stretch beyond their limits.A tear in any muscle or group of muscles is referred to as a strain. Strains are generally classified as a grade I, II or III, depending on the severity. Minor tears in the muscles are categorized under Grade I strains, partial tears in the muscles are categorized under Grade II strains, and grade III strains are severe tears or complete rupture of the muscle. Depending on the grade of tears, you may experience local pain, muscle weakness, muscle tightness, bruising, swelling or difficulty walking and running.Consulting a physiotherapist can be helpful. Their expert opinion can help you heal and rehabilitate faster. He might use ultrasound, massage, and taping to boost recovery, and may also advise you a rehabilitation program, consisting of muscles strengthening and stretching exercises.ConcussionA concussion is classified under mild traumatic brain injuries. It commonly occurs after a whiplash-type injury or a solid impact on your head. The strong impact causes your head and brain to move swiftly back and forth.Although it can occur during a fall or a car accident, you have an increased risk of getting a concussion if you participate in impact sports such as boxing or football. They are usually not serious, but a strong impact is proportional to serious symptoms that may require immediate medical attention.A concussion injury affects your brain and its signs and symptoms are different from a contusion that results from bruises. Of note, a contusion (or bruise) can also occur on your head, however, it is not typically life-threatening and may resolve itself within several days.Depending on its severity, the symptoms of a concussion may vary from person to person. The common signs of a football impact on your head that may indicate an underlying concussion injury include:Drowsiness or feeling sluggishLoss of consciousnessBalance problemsConfusionDizzinessHeadacheNausea or vomitingDouble vision or blurred visionSensitivity to light or noiseMemory problemsGroin strainAfter ankle sprains and hamstring sprains, both concussions and groin strain injuries share similar percentage, i.e., 5.5% of all football injuries, according to the same study by the NCAA. (4)   A groin strain is also known as the pulled groin. It is less common than hamstring strains and occurs after the appearance of a tear in one of the groin muscles (adductor brevis, longus, magnus, pectineus, and gracilis). The first and typical symptom of a groin strain is a pain in the inner thigh. Other common symptoms may include sudden, sharp pain in the groin area and along the length of the groin muscles. A tear in the groin muscle occurs when kicking a football, rapidly changing direction or sprinting.If you experience a sharp and sudden pain in inner thigh after a forceful kick, you should stop the game and visit a nearby sports injury clinic for evaluation. Neglecting the symptoms may increase the tear length and can even exacerbate the condition.ConclusionSprains and strains of the lower extremities and concussion impact on the brain are the most common injuries in football players. They usually occur as a result of close player-to-player contact during practices or games. Depending on the severity, some of them are further categorized into grades.Although some minor football injuries can be treated by conventional treatment methods, consulting chartered physiotherapists for their expert advice is usually recommended. A physiotherapist is a sports injury specialist that might use various therapeutic and healing methods to speed up recovery and restore mobility.If you are in Manchester and experiencing one of these commonest football injuries, consult our sports injury Manchester team of professional Sports Injury Specialists, Manual therapists, Acupuncturists and chiropractors for a full injury diagnosis and custom treatment program, consisting of soft tissue massage therapy, sports taping, and stretching exercises along with educational advice on self recovery and maintance www.mysportsinjury.co.ukReferences1. Soccer Injuries - Sports Medicine Program - UR Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center - Rochester, NY https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/orthopaedics/sports-medicine/soccer-injuries.cfm2. Soccer Injuries - Sports Medicine Program - UR Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center - Rochester, NY https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/orthopaedics/sports-medicine/soccer-injuries.cfm3. Deive Epidemiology of Collegiate Women's Softball Injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System, 1988–1989 Through 2003–2004 B Morrey, 20084. Ncaa.orghttps://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/NCAA_M_Soccer_Injuries_WEB.pdf
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