Common Football Injuries

By David B. Gealt, DO
Director, Sports Concussion Program
Assistant Director of Sports Medicine
Cooper Bone and Joint Institute

footballinjuriesFootball is one of the most popular sports played by young athletes in the United States. This sport also leads all other sports in the number of injuries per year. Football is a full contact sport with players colliding into each other at high velocities. This makes football players prone to injury anywhere on their bodies.

What sorts of protective equipment do football players wear?

There is a wide range of equipment that football players wear. This includes a helmet, a mouth guard, shoulder pads, hip pads with a tailbone protector, thigh pads, knee pads, cleats, and an athletic supporter. It is important for this equipment to fit properly. If the equipment does not fit properly, it can actually cause injury. There is no helmet which has been proven through research to prevent concussions.

What are the most common types of injuries in football?

  • Contusions
  • Knee injuries (such as ligament tears)
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Heat illness
  • Concussions

How can injuries in football be prevented?

  • Stay active during summer break to prepare for training camp.
  • Incorporate strength training and a stretching program into your normal routine.
  • Wear properly fitted equipment.
  • Hydrate adequately before, during and after play.
  • When tackling, do not lead with the helmet.
  • Consult a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer with any concerns about particular injuries or prevention methods.

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