The local pools are boarded up; summer is officially over. Football fans are flying their banners and donning team jerseys. Whether you’re crazy for the Broncos or your favorite college, or cheer for your son’s high school team, you’re looking forward to the new football season.
Any football buff knows it’s a physical and sometimes punishing game. For the child that spent the summer swimming and playing baseball, returning to football after such a long hiatus is a major adjustment. Muscle strength and skills specific to the sport must be regained and toned. Your high-schooler is more likely to suffer an injury if he isn’t in football shape.
Players’ size, speed, proficiency level and experience are all factors in determining the type and severity of injuries that can happen. Here are the most common football injuries:
Sprains and strains – A sprain is an injury to a ligament that has been stretched too far or torn. A strain is an injury to muscle or tendon. Ankle sprains in football are common. Either problem can be caused by repetitive activities.
Fractures – One quarter of all football injuries are fractures. In football, it’s usually a finger, wrist or leg. How serious the break is depends on the strength of the bone and the force that fractured it. On average, a fracture takes 6 – 8 weeks to heel, if no surgical intervention is required.
Turf toe is usually associated with athletes that play field sports. Caused by hyper-extending the big toe or jamming it into the ground, this joint sprain causes stiffness, pain and swelling. Several weeks of rehab are required to strengthen small muscles in the foot. Custom orthotics can provide support.
Achilles tendonitis or rupture –Achilles tendonitis is chronic inflammation and swelling of the largest tendon in the body. EPAT (Extra Corporeal Pulse Activated Therapy) is a non-invasive, office-based procedure that treats the pain and inflammation. Left untreated, the tendon can rupture, requiring surgery and extensive rehab.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) sprain or tear- The ACL is a major ligament under the knee cap that connects your thigh bone (femur) to your shin bone (tibia). Approximately 80 percent of tears happen without contact. Major surgery may be required; the recovery is six to nine months.
Injury prevention, coaching strategies and improvements to athletic gear are reducing the number of serious injuries in high school football. Though foot and ankle injuries are common, treatment options are more advanced than ever. If your footballer experiences an injury this season, trust his care to Dr. O and her team of experienced physicians and physical therapists. With 25 years of sports medicine experience, they’ll have him back on the field in no time. Visit our website: footdoctorscolorado.com or call 303-805-5156 for an appointment at our Cherry Creek, Castle Pines, Aurora, or Parker office.