Football is an aggressive sport. Despite the helmets, pads, braces, and a number of other protective gear, sustaining an injury during the game is quite normal. The size of the players, agility, fast pace, and of course the rage during the game, all are responsible for injuries.
While sustaining injuries is quite common, what’s not is ignoring them. Ignoring even a minor muscle sprain may lead to disturbing problems in the future. Therefore, it is vital to identify what are the common football injuries and how should they be treated.
A hamstring muscle runs from the hips to the back of the knee. These are also amongst the longest muscles in the human body. That being said, they are also the most susceptible to injuries, especially during sports activities. Usually, a tear or a strain in hamstring muscles recover on their own in a few days. But, in case the inflammation continues for more than a week, it is advisable to visit a physical therapist to get a proper diagnosis.
Ligament Injuries in the Knee
Football, as already said, is an aggressive sport. It requires a high level of agility in the players. However, often the same agility can cause certain injuries, especially in the knee and ankle region. Swift movements, changing directions when running, and direct blows to the knees can lead to injuring the ligaments. They are the tissues that connect bones at joints, like knees, ankles, shoulders, etc. In the knee area, there are four ligaments namely
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
An injury to these tissues can cause extreme inflammation during bending and twisting the knee. According to the experts at Rehab-by-motion.com, physical therapy sessions can help speed up the repair of the ligament tissues. With the proper motion of the muscles and the joints, the repair process of the tissues increases naturally. Moreover, a therapist would suggest only the exercise that shall not harm your tissues further.
Rotator Cuff Strain
A sudden impact on the shoulder muscles can lead to the unnecessary stretching of these muscles. Typically, there are four muscles that make up the rotator cuff joint in the shoulders. In a football field, the players often collide with each other shoulder to shoulder. Such impacts can lead to a tear or a strain in the rotator cuff muscles. Bathing the shoulder muscles with lukewarm water is the easiest way to alleviate the inflammation. However, if the pain is severe, it is advised to use mild painkillers and soothing massage to relieve the agony.
The largest tendon in the body is located at the back of the ankle. It is also the most vulnerable tendon in the human body. Although tendons are very strong as they connect muscles, they are not very flexible. Running and pushing acts during a football game may stretch the tendons so far, only to create a rupture in them. And one such common condition of the tendons is Achilles Tendonitis. There are several treatments for Achilles Tendonitis including medication, activity modifications, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, you can still alleviate the inflammation by reducing the activity and icing of the tendons often.
Also known as Patellar Tendonitis, a jumper’s knee is an injury to the patellar tendon in the knee. The tissue connects the thigh bone to the shin bone and therefore is quite important for supporting the movement of the knees. Usually, when trying to place a high kick or a banana kick, the twisting motion of the knees causes Jumper’s Knee in the football players. However, there can be several other reasons that may lead to a strain or a tear in the tendon. The symptoms include pain and tenderness on the front of the knee, inflammation during walking, squatting, bending, and running. Typically a tendon tear in the knee is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, but other treatments may include stretching exercises with icing to reduce the swelling.
A tear in the meniscus tissue is also commonly referred to as cartilage tear. A layer of tissues that helps smoothen the edges of the bones and also provide a cushioning effect against the loads on the skeleton, is known as cartilage. Usually, knee cartilage tissues can be categorized into two types and any injury or tear to these can restrict the normal motion of the joint. That being said, football, as is a game with extensive activity involving knees and legs, can often cause cartilage tear. Particularly, strikers and attackers experience a cartilage tear more often than any others. Usually, a tear in cartilage tissue requires surgery, but thankfully not all tears require surgical treatments. Minor to mild tears can recover on their own, with the help of stretching and twisting exercises and a proper diet.
One of the most dangerous injuries that can happen during a football match is to the head or the brain of the player. That is the reason, American football players wear helmets. A sudden fall or a jerk on the head may cause blackouts for some time. Besides, such blows to the head can cause long term inflammations and often concussions, along with memory loss and problem concentrating. Usually, concussions are best healed in time if offered ample time for the brain to recover. It means not only staying off the field for the players but also restricting activities that involve mental stress such as reading and writing. Apart from this, your physician may suggest some regenerative exercises to help your brain recover faster.
Despite the risks involved, the popularity of this sport is nowhere near the epilogue. For this reason, finding appropriate regenerative treatments for the injuries is equally important, as is to try and avoid them. Be it through medication or alternative treatments such as physiotherapy or Yoga, the point is to assist the recovery of the players as fast as possible. In this regard, several contemporary cures are proving their worth over conventional non-steroidal medicines and painkillers. But, more studies need to confirm the effectiveness, despite the fact that there are no or minimal side-effects of these treatments.