- Sprains and strains, particularly ankle sprains, are the most common types of football injuries. A sprain is any injury to aligament, which connects bone to bone.
- Contusions and bruises are blunt injuries to soft tissue of muscle. Usually there is discoloration caused by bleeding into the soft tissue.
Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive use of certain muscles. These injuries are common to young athletes at the peak of their growth potential.
- Turf toe is an injury to the base of the big toe. It is often caused by running or jumping on hard surfaces and hyper-extending the big toe.
Treating Common Injuries
Assessing the severity of an injury can be difficult. When in doubt, seek the advice of a doctor. Injuries may cause:
- Limited range of motion
- Loss of strength
For minor or more common football injuries, think PRICEMM- Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Motion and Medicine. This will help to limit swelling and further tissue damage, maintain range of motion and return the athlete to the playing field as quickly and as safely as possible.
Seek immediate medical attention for any of the following:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and cartilage tears require immediate attention. These injuries most often result from open-field, plant-and-twist motions. Adolescents have a high risk reoccurrence and a high potential for premature arthritis. Surgery is often necessary to repair ACL damage.
- Burners or stingers result from either the stretch or compression of the brachial plexus (nerves in the neck). This causes a burning or numbness shooting down the arm.
- Concussions are caused by a blow to the head. Symptoms may include confusion, short term memory problems and loss of consciousness.
- Fractures are breaks or disruptions in a bone. They may occur from one blow (acute) or from repetitive use (stress fracture). The severity ranges from mild hairline cracks to compound fractures breaking the skin.
- Hip pointers usually refers to a bone bruise or possible fracture of the pelvis.
- Spine injuries are often caused when a defensive player tackles with his head down.