Did you know that many NFL players risk their health by playing through injuries? Tough or not, their desire to stay on the field is so strong that it can sometimes overshadow their pain. The nature of this sport fosters high pain tolerance and quick recovery, but athletes shouldn’t always “suck it up,” as it increases their chances of re-injury or re-aggravation.
With playoffs approaching, it is important to look out for these four common football-related injuries and encourage players to seek proper treatment:
ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL tears – anterior cruciate, medial collateral, posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments are all located in the knee. Each serves a different purpose to the function of the knee. Depending on the area of impact, front, rear or side, these ligaments can be damaged or torn. These tears are dangerous because of their high pain level and long-term healing time. Tears can also affect a player’s long-term ability to play.
Concussions – Even though players wear helmets, concussions can still occur. Concussions are the result of a traumatic hit to the head and can have serious effects on the player. When in doubt, players should take the bench and seek medical attention.
Shoulder injuries – While shoulder pads are designed to absorb the shock of tackles, injury can still occur. Common shoulder injuries are: shoulder separation/ dislocation and shoulder tendonitis. If a player takes a direct blow below the shoulder, it can cause separation of the acromioclavicular joint. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus detaches from the scapula. Shoulder tendonitis occurs due to overuse from throwing.
Ankle/Foot injuries – The most common sports injury is a sprained ankle. Ankle sprains and strains are caused by soft tissue damage from pivoting, changing direction or applying pressure to the joint.
Reality check: the longer an injury is played on, the longer it takes to retrain the muscle. If you’re injured while playing a sport, please make an appointment with one of our sports medicine orthopedics – Call: 251-410-3600
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