Each fall, thousands of young athletes make their way to the football field, or at least play the game casually with family members or friends. As a contact sport, football is also a common source of injuries, according to leading spinal surgeons in Los Angeles. Recognizing potential sources of injury, especially those involving any part of the spine, can help players take steps to stay safe while running, tackling, throwing, or kicking.
1. Overuse Injuries
Lower back pain is often the result of the overuse of supporting muscles during a particularly active game of football. Injuries of this type can also be caused by what’s termed “over-training syndrome,” where a player spends too much time training and practicing the same moves over and over. Knee pain is another common overuse injury.
2. Traumatic Injuries
A hard impact may result in a traumatic injury to specific bones, joints, or muscles. Damage to anterior or posterior ligaments (ACL/PCL) can result in persistent knee pain from a traumatic injury. Cartilage around the socket of the shoulder is also susceptible to injury from a hard hit or fall. Swift cutting and twisting motions may also result in ankle strains or sprains.
3. Strains and Sprains
Ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues can easily be stressed or pulled from the various repetitive motions required during a game of football. Aside from overuse, strains and sprains can result from a lack of conditioning or not taking the time to do a proper warm-up before starting practice or getting into the game.
Defined as a change in mental state due to a traumatic injury, a concussion can result in a wide range of symptoms. Loss of consciousness isn’t the only sign of a concussion. Symptoms may also include dizziness, headaches, difficulty concentrating, numbness and tingling, and drowsiness.
There’s no way to prevent every possible injury that may occur while playing football due to the high speeds and full contact involved with the game. Yet wearing protective gear that’s a proper fit, maintaining core muscle strength between games, and knowing when to take a timeout after being injured can reduce the risk of experiencing more than temporary discomfort.
If you or a loved one experiences a back or spine injury while playing football, don’t wait to seek medical intervention. Reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. The team of medical professionals, lead by Dr. Hyun Bae, can help you determine the best options to treat your pain without compromising your lifestyle. Call (310) 828-7757 today and schedule an in-person consultation.