Like with all high impact sports, football comes with an increased risk of both serious and minor injuries to the joints and tissues. Tackling, blocking, and other physical interactions between players in the game of football can result in injury due to the nature of the game. We’ve compiled a list of the most common musculoskeletal injuries of football, along with the recommended treatment for each.
ACL TearThe ACL is one of the four main ligaments of the knee located within the knee joint. ACL tears are common in football when players are impacted from the front or rear. Common symptoms of an ACL tear include the following:
- Popping sound or sensation
- Pain (moderate to severe) when bending the knee
- Instability of the knee
High impact sports are the most common cause of ACL tears and injuries. In most cases of a complete ACL tear, reconstructive ACL tear surgery is necessary for treatment. Before and after surgery, RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) of the knee is vital for swelling and pain reduction. Following surgery, one will be advised to wear a functional knee brace during the initial healing period. If and when football players ease back into athletic activity after an ACL tear, it is highly suggested to wear a football ACL brace to prevent further injury and allow the ligaments to continue to heal.
BraceAbility offers a wide range of ACL braces for treatment and postoperative purposes. These braces are extremely helpful during the recovery process and while players are easing back into physical activity.
MCL TearThe MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of your knee that connects the thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. This ligament serves to keep the knee from bending inward. Tearing of the MCL is another common injury in football players that occurs when the knee is impacted from the side. Symptoms of an MCL tear include the following:
- Stiffness and swelling of the knee
- Tenderness along the inside of the knee
- Pain (moderate to severe)
Most MCL tears can be treated from home with RICE and anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor may suggest that you wear a brace during the healing process to protect the knee while still allowing for mobility. A prophylactic MCL knee brace is a great brace for treating a torn MCL because of the lightweight design and ideal support. Depending on the severity of your tear, you may need a hinged brace to limit weight on the knee and compress the knee. BraceAbility offers a wide range of MCL knee braces for treatment and recovery of an MCL tear.
Torn MeniscusA torn meniscus is among one of the most common knee injuries, especially for those who participate in high impact sports such as football. One can tear their meniscus by simply squatting or twisting the knee in a quick manner. There are several different types of tears that can occur when playing contact sports or being active including longitudinal, parrot-beak, flap, bucket handle, and mixed/complex meniscal tears. Symptoms of a torn meniscus include:
- Pain in the knee
- Stiffness and swelling
- Sensation of your knee “giving away”
- Not able to move knee through full range of motion
Playing contact sports increases the risk of injuries. A torn meniscus usually occurs during football when a player rotates their body while their foot remains planted. This causes the knee to twist and tear the meniscus. Compression and cold therapy are vital during the recovery process of a torn meniscus. The cold therapy meniscus knee brace is great for recovery and for players easing back into athletic activity. The knee support sleeve is also a great option for compression and support to promote healing and reduce swelling.
Ankle SprainsAnkle sprains are extremely common in all sports. This is because ankles are susceptible to soft tissue damage when athletes are pivoting, changing direction, or simply putting too much pressure on the joint. A sprained ankle causes swelling, pain, and limited range of motion, which can greatly affect the performance of athletes. Common symptoms of an ankle sprain include the following:
- Ankle pain
- Ankle instability
RICE, bracing of the ankle, and anti-inflammatory medications are highly advised following an ankle sprain. This will reduce swelling and promote healing significantly. With proper home treatment, almost all ankle sprains heal on their own. BraceAbility offers a wide variety of ankle sprain braces and sleeves. The sports ankle brace is a great option for sprained ankles in athletes because it reduces swelling and prevents further injury to the ankle. The compression ankle sleeve is also ideal for treating and preventing ankle sprains in athletes.
Torn HamstringsTorn hamstrings are another common injury in football players. This injury occurs during bursts of speed that cause the hamstring to tear if the player is not conditioned or properly warmed up. Any physical activity that involves sprinting with sudden stops and starts can cause injury to the hamstring. Common symptoms of a hamstring tear include the following:
- Sudden, sharp pain in the back of the thigh
- Swelling and tenderness
- Muscle weakness
- Popping or tearing sensation
Treatment for torn hamstrings depends on the severity of your injury. Mild hamstring tears can easily be treated from home. RICE, bracing, and anti-inflammatory medications are suggested for treatment of a torn hamstring. Groin support compression shorts are great for hamstring injury treatment. Featuring a hamstring compression wrap, the shorts apply the needed compression to promote healing and reduce inflammation. An athletic hamstring compression sleeve is also suggested to enhance circulation and recover more quickly from a torn hamstring.