Known as the beautiful sport and the most popular in the world, the game of football is also known as a highly physical game. Players from opposing teams are expected to run around the field, fighting for every ball possession, and diving for that ball when necessary to prevent a goal. Because of the nature of the game and the kind of environment it’s played in, football players risk suffering certain types of injuries.
Injuries to the Knees and Ankles
A sprain is the most common football-related injury reported by players. Sprains will normally target the ligaments that support the ankle joint and connect it to the foot. Sprains often happen when the player shifts or pivots hard when changing direction. Since sprains are so common, a number of tried and tested solutions have been brought into the game to prevent this from happening, as well as ways to treat the injuries when they do happen:
- Always incorporate a warm-up into the program
- Use RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
- Medications as prescribed by the physician
- Use of braces and surgery
Straining of the Muscles
Football players can also develop strains when the body is pushed to the limit during play. This happens when the muscles of the player are pulled, or when the muscles are suddenly and unexpectedly contracted.
In football, the straining of the muscles usually happens around the quadriceps, groin and hamstring areas. As with the prevention of sprains, a good warm-up before playing the game is recommended to prevent strains from happening. Proper use and selection of shoes can also help in preventing strains.
Protection from Head Injuries
When the action becomes heated, football players may also sustain head injuries. Concussion is common among players on the field, and normally happens in a contact with another football player, or when the head of the player hits the goal post. According to various medical sources, hitting the ball using the head does not cause concussions.
Aside from strains, sprains and head injuries, football players should be careful with fractures, and even skin wounds. Fractures may affect the ankle, foot bones and the lower leg, and these may happen if a player gets into direct physical contact with another player on the field. It is also common for jaw fractures to occur during football games, but this type of fracture is rare.
Finally, active football players should be careful with skin injuries. Cuts and abrasions are common, but these skin wounds can be addressed using first-aid kits typically available at the playing venue.