It’s that time of year again. The weather is cooling down, jackets and long-sleeved shirts have come out from their summer hibernation, and sports fans all over the country are filling high school, college and professional stadiums to watch their favorite football team compete.
And while football can bring out fierce rivalries and competitive spirit, it’s important to remember that players risk suffering some devastating injuries. Pads and helmets can only provide so much support and protection against potentially career-ending injuries.
The most common injuries that football players face consist of knee injuries, specifically to the ACL, PCL and the meniscus; overuse injuries, including those of back pain and varying forms of tendinitis also occur; and, above all, the most lasting and traumatic of injuries that players can face are concussions, which every player is susceptible to.
Yet, for all the injuries that can occur, there are ways to help keep the football players in your life safe and well prepared.
- Begin each season with a thorough health screening. This will ensure that any potential issues can be evaluated and addressed prior to competition.
- Maintaining year-long activity. Staying active throughout the year allows the body to stay prepared and maintain playing form.
- Strength training. Incorporating strength training and conditioning into a workout routine helps the body become stronger and more resilient.
- Being properly fitted for gear. Often times, improper fits of helmets, pads and footwear can contribute to injury.
- Warm up, cool down. Stretching before and after a competition is crucial for the body and muscles to stay loose. This also allows the body to be less susceptible to injury, strains or tears.
- Drink water. Lots of it. Staying properly hydrated is important for any sport but especially during football season. The changing elements can cause dehydration, especially when cooler temperatures don’t make the loss of fluids as apparent.
Most importantly, if any injury has been sustained or there is any concern before, after or during the season, consult a medical professional to prevent or diagnose any issues. Our physicians at Methodist McKinney Hospital are always here to help you stay at the top of your game.