Common Football Injuries and Recovery Methods
Football is one of the most popular sports in America, played by over five million people ages over the age of six each year. As a full-contact sport, it comes as no surprise that sports injuries from the game can be common. While there are constant advancements in protective gear and safety protocols, football can be punishing to the body as a whole and requires players to exert huge amounts of physical effort to play their best.
Today, we’re looking at common football injuries and recovery methods to get you off the bench and back on the field! Whether you’re playing for a school or a professional athlete, the importance of taking care of your body on and off the field can’t be overstated.
Common Football Injuries
Being such a rough sport, the list of common football injuries is long. Playing football engages muscles throughout your entire body. Even with protective gear on, being tackled, falling, and making sudden changes in running direction throughout the game all add to the potential for getting hurt.
Some of the most common football injuries you may experience while playing include:
- Torn rotator cuff
- Shoulder dislocation
- Neck strain
- Pulled hamstrings
- Ankle sprains
- Lower back pain
- Herniated discs
Players may also experience other pains or discomforts after games or practice such as Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness (DOMS), muscle cramps, and overheating.
While some of these common football injuries are sustained from tackling, falling, or the impact of colliding with one another on the field, others are potentially preventable with adequate physical training, stretching, and a post-workout recovery routine in place.
Football Injury Recovery and Prevention Methods
The quickest way off the bench and back on the field is by knowing how to maximize your football injury recovery and prevention methods. Preparing your body for the physical demands of playing football and knowing how to take care of yourself after practice or a game is crucial to your continued well-being. Even the best of the best professional football players understand the need to look after their bodies, otherwise they could be finding their season (or career) cut short.
It may not be possible to guarantee you’ll avoid any common football injuries, but consider these football injury recovery and prevention methods to stay in the game:
- Stay hydrated
- Practice the R.I.C.E. method
- Stretch properly for recovery and game prep
- Try taping and strapping football treatment methods
- Get a massage
- Use heat therapy for sore muscles
One of the easiest methods for football injury recovery and prevention is staying hydrated. The extreme physical exertion needed to play football means your body is losing water at a rapid rate. Drinking enough water can help lower your risk for muscle cramps, muscle strain, joint pain, or lower back pain from football.
Drinking enough water to stay adequately hydrated applies to more than just your time on the field. Be sure you’re staying hydrated before and after a game as well as during training sessions. It can be one of the most successful ways to avoid and prevent common football injuries. It may also help lower the chances of experiencing symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, a condition that could keep you from playing your best.
Practice the R.I.C.E. Method for Football Injuries
Another of the most common football injury recovery methods is the R.I.C.E. method. In recent years some experts have expanded this to P.R.I.C.E. with the addition of a new first step to start the process. The acronym stands for:
From immobilizing the area of the football injury to elevating it for faster recovery, the P.R.I.C.E. method is standard practice for athletes in every sport. To enhance this technique, you might consider recovery tools for athletes that you can pair with your recovery, as well.
For example, the “rest” and “elevation” portions of the technique can be taken to the next level with a recovery tool like a zero gravity chair. Not only are they perfect for comfortably relaxing as you heal from any number of common football injuries, but they improve how the body heals itself all over.
In the zero gravity position, the legs are elevated above the heart level and weight is distributed evenly along the body. This body positioning promotes better blood circulation (which leads to faster healing), can help fight inflammation, and even potentially alleviate back pain from football. They are multipurpose tools that look after your body from head to toe!
Furthermore, the bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners may also assist in football injury recovery methods. Features like massage and heat therapy can help your muscles as they repair themselves from the stress playing football puts on the body.
Stretch Properly Before and After Playing Football
While athletes of all ability levels constantly hear about the importance of stretching properly, it’s amazing how many don’t do it. Cutting corners when it comes to stretching before practice, a game, or even a training session could drastically increase your risk of common football injuries.
Stretches for hamstrings, ankles, shoulder joints, the lower back, and every area of your body are absolutely essential for football players. The game takes a huge toll on your entire body, so be sure it’s ready to perform.
Taping and Strapping Methods
If you’re a football player, no doubt you’re familiar with taping and strapping techniques. Taping and strapping can help reduce stress on the muscles and tendons by creating extra support and tension. Many players choose to tape injury-prone areas of places where they’re already experiencing some discomfort before they play in order to prevent further incidents.
While it’s not recommended, players have also been known to make use of taping and strapping in order to play through smaller common football injuries, as well. While this causes you to run the risk of worsening an injury, it could be beneficial if you’re determined to play regardless.
Get a Sports Massage
Sports massages aren’t exercises in vanity, they’re essential to keeping your body in prime condition and helping with football injury recovery! Whether you’re experiencing a herniated disc, lower back pain, muscle soreness, or just want a way to stimulate blood flow and maximize performance, getting a sports massage is a common choice for athletes.
If going to a massage therapy appointment isn’t easy for your schedule (or wallet), there are plenty of other methods for athletes to get a kind of massage experience, however. Those using a luxury zero gravity chair may find their model offers vibration or air pressure massage options (sometimes called air cell massage), too. These programs take the benefits of using a zero gravity chair for football injury recovery to the next level!
Heat Therapy for Sore Muscles
Last, but not least, on our list of ways to treat or prevent common football injuries is heat therapy. There are two categories of heat therapy: dry and moist. Dry heat therapy includes using athletic recovery tools like heating pads for relief. Players using zero gravity chairs may also find models with heat therapy features that enhance their football injury recovery and keep them in top shape.
Moist heat therapy methods may include activities like using a sauna or taking a warm bath to soothe muscles. These can be great for initial sports injury recovery, but aren’t always as easy to apply as dry heat therapy methods.
There are loads of common football injuries that can happen at any level of ability. Whether you’re just starting your football experience or are a professional athlete, knowing how to care for your body is essential. If you feel you’ve experienced an injury, talk to your doctor right away to avoid potentially making it worse. Discuss these potential football injury recovery methods to see which might work best for you and get back on the field in no time!
Curious about more benefits of zero gravity chairs for athletes? Check out the Svago ZGR Zero Gravity Recliner and find out how to deepen the restorative zero gravity experience.