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Friday night football: Common injuries and prevention

The shift from summer to fall signifies a number of changes. The weather shifts, the leaves begin to turn and weekends become filled with a variety of fall sports. Football is one of the most popular sports of the season. Whether enjoying this activity as an athlete or a parent of a player, there are several things to consider before launching into a busy football season.

There are a number of common injuries sustained by football players during any given game. Despite wearing pads, helmets and supportive footwear, each and every play can result in a serious injury.

Here are the most common football injuries:

Knee Injuries

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears and strains
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears and strains
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tears and strains
  • Meniscus tears
  • Patellar fractures
  • Knee dislocations

Head Injuries

  • Concussions caused by single or repeated trauma to the head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative disease

Overuse Injuries

  • Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumper’s knee
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff strains or tears

Shoulder Injuries

  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder tendinitis

Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Sprained ankles
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel contusions
  • Tendonitis
  • Ankle fractures

It is no secret that football can be a very dangerous sport. Prevention is key for avoiding a football injury this season. Addressing any injuries, as soon as they occur on the football field, is the best way to avoid serious issues. Consult a board certified orthopaedic surgeon for a full assessment and treatment options.

Make sure to stay hydrated while playing football or any sport. Choose proper fitting gear that is in good condition while practicing and playing in all football games. Using faulty pads can result in an unnecessary injury. Never play football without a helmet and report any pain or injury to your coaching staff.

Always warm-up before hitting the football field. Many strains and tears can be prevented if you are taking simple precautions such as stretching and warming up appropriately.