Football is a high-energy, fast-paced activity, so injuries are prevalent. In other words, due to the amount of contact and quick movements involved in the sport, football players are prone to injuries.
Knee injuries, shoulder injuries, concussions, and overuse injuries are among the most frequent ailments suffered by football players.
These injuries can stop you from engaging in your favorite sport for some days, weeks, and even months. However, the good news is that there are ways you can keep yourself safe.
In this guide, you’ll find five ways to prevent football injuries.
Top 5 Ways To Prevent Football Injuries
- Wear The Proper Protective Gear
Every athlete must have these two things: footwear and shin pads. Every week, players have injuries that could have been avoided if they had used this piece of equipment.
When it comes to footwear, remember that regardless of how many spangly multicolored/fluorescent boots you can buy these days, you’re dressing for a sporting event and not for a fashion parade. This means you should select something both comfortable and practical.
Check that the boots fit properly and are tight enough. If you’re trying them on in a store, make sure you wear football socks and even shin pads (if they include ankle supports, which may make a difference) to get the sizing right.
If you buy online and they arrive a half-size too big or too small, please send them back since an ill-fitting boot is a prescription for injury. Ideally, all players should wear shin pads, preferably with ankle supports.
It’s understandable why many people dislike wearing shin pads; they take extra time to put on, can be uncomfortable, and may not fit in with the look you’re going for. Regardless, they can save you from severe injuries.
- Don’t Overdo It
Overuse injuries can result from prolonged sports training. Make sure you’re not training for an extended period without rest. When you engage in too much repeated physical activity all at once, an overuse injury may develop.
“Slow and steady wins the race,” is a saying you may have heard. It implies going at your own pace, which relates to exercising. Your body requires time to adapt to new motions, loads, speeds, and durations of exercise.
Only attempt to accomplish a little at a time, and be honest about your ability and fitness level. Increase the duration and quantity of repetitions of an exercise gradually. Your body will have time to acclimatize and not suffer an overuse injury.
- Maintain Fitness
As an athlete, you can’t spend all your time eating junk and feeling lazy when you have a big game coming up. You need to keep fit; regular exercise is required to ensure that your body can withstand 90 minutes of the match.
Regular exercise is one thing, but there are some exercises you can do that can fortify your body against injury. These exercises have been shown in prominent clinical research studies to minimize injuries by 30-50%. Examples of this training are core training, neuromuscular control and balance, plyometrics, and agility.
In particular, during the off-season, all athletes should sustain their physical fitness throughout the year. To guarantee that you are in top shape for the next season, go through a pre-season fitness regimen that combines strength training and aerobic activity. Being in good form before the season begins makes playing easy and lowers the chance of injury.
- Do Not Wear Any Jewelry On Pitch
Ensure that you do not wear any jewelry on the pitch. As small as jewelry is, it can cause a fatal injury. All jewelry items, such as necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc., are forbidden and must be removed.
Using tape to cover jewelry is not permitted. It doesn’t matter if you are married; you must take off your men’s wedding bands. Have you ever seen Cesar Azpilicueta playing on the pitch with his wedding ring? The answer is no. Putting on jewelry on the pitch is totally prohibited.
- Never Return From An Injury Until You Are Completely Healed
You probably have seen situations where a player returns from injury quickly only to leave the game after five minutes due to a recurrence of the ailment he had nearly completely recovered from.
Make sure your injury has had enough time to heal before returning to action, regardless of how much your team claims to need you or how much you want to play. Otherwise, you run the danger of causing yourself further, potentially serious harm.
Here’s an extra tip: Understanding when to and when not to play is quite important in keeping you safe. There have been several fatal heat stroke incidents in recent years because of overworking players in hazardous conditions,
On hot, muggy days, players should be given chances to drink plenty of water and also take frequent breaks.
Common Football Injuries And Treatment
- Muscle Strain
A muscle strain happens when the tendon, which connects the muscles to the bones, is stretched past its breaking point. The most common reason for strains is when a player quickly accelerates or decelerates.
They are also known as pulled muscles, and they frequently impact the lower back or the hamstrings.
The R.I.C.E. approach, which involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation, should be used to treat muscle strains immediately. Refrain from overworking yourself. Ice the area for at least 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours.
To reduce swelling, wrap the region in an elastic bandage. Elevate the affected part above the heart to allow gravity to perform its job of reducing edema.
- Hamstring Strain
The three large, powerful muscles at the rear of your thigh are your hamstrings. They provide a driving force when you run and accelerate.
Football games sometimes need sudden tempo changes, ranging from a stop to a fast pace in seconds. Your hamstrings are susceptible to overloading, which may result in a strain if they don’t have an adequate length (through stretching) or strength.
If you injure your hamstring, proceed using the POLICE and HARM treatment methods. Stretch frequently and use a foam roller to help avoid hamstring injuries.
You may use a cylindrical foam roller to massage and loosen up tight and stiff muscles. Your hamstring muscles can be strengthened as a result.
Perform speed drills tailored to your sport regularly and strength training exercises like deadlifts, leg curls, and hamstring bridges.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
Your knee’s ACL serves as a crucial stabilizing ligament. It frequently hurts if your upper leg twists or moves while your lower leg remains firmly placed.
For instance, an anterior cruciate ligament injury might result, while landing a leap while moving or during a tackle. A severe ACL tear would almost certainly require surgery, but an ACL sprain may typically be treated with treatment and rehabilitation.
If you hurt your knee, take POLICE and HARM precautions. It’s crucial to consult a physiotherapist if it’s still painful and swollen after several days. They can determine the extent of your ACL damage and advise you on the appropriate action.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that, in football, is typically brought on by a head impact. Concussion-affected athletes should rest extensively.
There are other treatments available for particular ailments. Before you are cleared to play again, your doctor might also want to perform a complete physical examination.
- Groin strain
Kicking, twisting, sprinting, and jumping on the field might harm your inner thigh muscles (also known as your adductors). This is frequently referred to as a groin strain.
Stretching your inner thighs daily can reduce the risk of groin strains from football. Include strengthening exercises in your practice, such as side lunges and adductor side bridges.