Few sports carry as great a risk for injury as football. The aggressive and physically demanding sport can lead to fractures, concussions, sprains and strains, cuts and bruises and in some cases, serious trauma. Common football injuries prevention is not always possible. After all, the action on the field involves more than just one individual, and players may be or can be injured through no fault of their own.
However, elite sport performance pros point out that there are many things players can do in order to reduce their risk of injury as much as possible. Both during the season and throughout the off season, preventative measures can help keep players healthy and active and reduce the risk of serious football injuries from occurring in the first place. Ten facts about these preventative measures follow, including everything from gear and fluids to alternative treatments for additional benefits.
Common Football Injuries Prevention – 10 Facts
- Hydration is Absolutely Imperative: The body requires fluids in order to perform correctly, and not only will inadequate hydration increase the risk of football injuries, it can also decrease performance as well. Proper muscle function depends on appropriate levels of fluids, and dehydration on the field can lead to common sports injuries as a result of painful or cramping muscles.
- Gear Regularly Prevents Injury: Football players don’t wear padding and devices because it makes them look more attractive on the field. Their equipment is highly specialized to help reduce the risk of football injuries from the toes to the tops of their heads. Various pads at the hips, tail, knees and shoulders complement thigh guards, mouth guards athletic supporters, helmets and more. Shoes are equally important and technically can be considered safety equipment. The right shoes are required to help prevent injuries to the foot and ankle. Aside from all these pieces, their fit is important, too. Ill fitting equipment can contribute to some types of football injuries, making football injuries prevention obsolete.
- Maintaining Fitness is Important: One of the most often forgotten about facts about injury prevention is that while sports may only last a season or part of a year, maintaining physical activity all year round is important. Fitness and diet programs should be maintained throughout the year so that strength and flexibility remains at the start of the next season. A sudden increase in activity level without physical maintenance can compromise your football injuries prevention efforts on the field.
- Stretching AFTER Practice and Play is Important: Most people consider pre-performance stretching a given, but the same procedures are almost as important after a practice or game. This simple step can help to relieve any soreness or tenderness occurring during play and is also valuable to maintaining fitness and flexibility to further reduce the risk of injuries on the field.
- Pre-Season Physicals are Worthwhile: For many people, going to the doctor is only important when illness and injury are present, however this simple step can be very worthwhile. A physical performed prior to the start of a season can help uncover any underlying injuries or illnesses that could dampen performance or support common football injuries prevention during the season.
- Injuries Should be Fully Recovered Before Play: A fair amount of physical activity can be useful in the later healing stages of certain types of injuries, but on the whole, regular physical activity and returning to play should be avoided until a doctor advises otherwise and any and all rehabilitation therapy should be complete. This is important for any type of injury, but in cases of serious injury such as those undergoing spinal cord injury treatment, physical activity should be very closely monitored by a healthcare provider in order to support football injuries prevention and lower the risk of further re-injury.
- Alternative Treatments Can Help: Whole body cryotherapy is becoming more and more popular with athletes, and is becoming more well known thanks to celebrities like Tony Robbins praising the procedure’s benefits. First used for hip pain relief and other discomfort associated with rheumatoid arthritis, cryotherapy for athletes has surged in use thanks to its purported ability to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and speed injury recovery time. The technology could be useful in another way, however. Whole body cryotherapy is thought to have a positive impact on post performance recovery time in athletes. Improving the physical state of players sooner by speeding recovery may help promote football injuries prevention. Check out our cryo Pro package that is popular among athletes.
- Overtraining Can be Hazardous: It may seem like there is no end to how much a player can improve, but the simple truth is that muscles need some periods of rest in order to stay healthy. Pain and discomfort can present in persons who train too intensely or too often, and these scenarios can compromise football injuries prevention on the field.
- Mental State is Important, too: It’s very easy to only think about the physical aspect of football injuries, however there is a psychological component that goes along with play as well. Anxiety and nervousness that be present when players feel a need to perform well due to social, home or peer pressure can lead to more mistakes and hence a risk of compromising football injuries prevention if focus is lacking. While a certain amount of pressure to perform is to be expected and can improve play, too much is not a good thing.
- Injury Identification is the Player’s Job as Well: Most coaches are fairly well trained at identifying various types of football injuries that occur commonly such as strains and sprains and bruises and cuts. However, it’s very important that following an injury the person injured provide as much information as possible about their pain and symptoms in order to help determine what may be wrong to ensure proper treatment. Additionally, if a recent injury is still presenting symptoms of any kind, play should be postponed. For instance, if shoulder pain relief dissipates following an injury, it should be reevaluated before play resumes.
HealthX. (n.d.). Football Injury Prevention.