Teen Back On The Football Field? Learn About The Most Common Football Injuries, Prevention, and Treatment
If your teenager plays football, then you are likely in the midst of yet another season of enjoying the fact that your teen is having fun and staying active, yet worrying that they will get injured at some point during practice or play. Instead of worrying, you can get proactive by learning about the most common football injuries and their signs, how to help your teen prevent them, and what to do if your teen is reporting pain or soreness that signals a possible injury.
Most Common Football Injuries
Of course, concussions are common football injuries, and you can read more about them here. You should always know the signs of concussion and take your teen to the emergency room if they suffer one, but be sure to keep an eye out for injuries that are less talked about, yet actually more common than concussions.
The most common acute injury suffered by a football player (of any age) is actually a knee injury. The most common knee injuries suffered during football play include ACL, PCL, and knee cartilage damage. The second most common acute injuries that occur when playing football are shoulder injuries.
While acute injuries are often caused by one strong impact, there are also injuries called "overuse injuries" that occur due to a football player simply moving a body part in the same way over and over. The most common overuse injuries in football players include lower back pain and a type of chronic knee pain called patellar tendinitis.
Football Injury Prevention & Treatment
Sports injury specialists believe that the easiest and most effective way for all athletes to avoid injury during practice and games is to warm up and stretch properly before play. Your child's football coach should be providing a period of warm-up and stretch before all games and practices; be sure to urge your teen to participate fully in all of these pre-play activities and not just "go through the motions" halfheartedly. In addition, don't be afraid to give your teen's football coach a call to confirm that he or she is just as dedicated to keeping the team injury-free as the parents are.
Sports injury experts also urge players and parents of players to not ignore small aches and pains and wait for them to become large ones before seeking sports injury physical therapy. These aches and pains are often signs that a full-on overuse injury may be coming, and with the right physical therapy regimen, the injuries can be avoided before they occur.
Of course, acute football injuries, such as ACL damage and shoulder injuries that do occur need to be treated by a professional immediately. If you or your teen suspect an acute physical injury, take them to the emergency room immediately. After emergency treatment is given, they will then be referred to a physical therapist at a clinic like Advanced Physical Therapy and any other specialists they need to visit to repair their damaged tissue.
If your teen is back on the football field this year, then you likely worry that they will suffer injury during play or practice. Be prepared to take your teen to the ER after any acute injury, but also be sure not to ignore small aches and pains thinking they will just "go away"; early physical therapy intervention can often keep these aches and pains from becoming overuse injuries that could lead to your teen having to stop playing their favorite sport.