Fall is just around the corner and with this cooler weather comes one of America’s most popular sports: football. As more and more young athletes participate in this sport, an increasing number of football-related injuries are sustained.
While traumatic injuries and concussions occur most often, overuse injuries are also extremely prevalent in football players. These develop slowly over time due to repetitive stress and are difficult to diagnose as the microtrauma may go unreported.
Players may complain about experiencing low-back pain, or back pain in general. The spine undergoes a lot of stress during consistent activity, twisting, turning, and absorbing pressure. Contact sports, like football, also involve bodily impact. This strain on the back can cause a traumatic, instant injury, or create pain over time.
Football players are also at risk for overuse injuries in the knee, such as patellar tendinitis. This causes knee pain and can often be treated by strengthening the quadriceps. Athletic trainers can prescribe a program that is right for you.
Overuse injuries, if not treated quickly, can also lead to overtraining syndrome. This occurs when a player trains beyond the ability for the body to recover.
While it is hard to totally avoid injury as a football player, there are key ways to help prevent overuse-related conditions. Building a good, solid foundation of strength will help ensure the body can better handle repeated stress. It is also important to train gradually, as injuries can often occur when the body takes on too much impact before it is able or does not rest enough between sessions.
Proper conditioning, warm-up, and education are key to preventing overuse injuries. If you seek treatment or have any other questions, contact the Bone & Joint Center today.