Football is a popular sport for both athletes and casual players. Although there are efficient ways to prevent injuries, the repetitive and high-contact aspects of football can lead to various sports injuries. Learning what the most common ones are and how to identify symptoms that require immediate attention can make a positive difference in your recovery. Going to the ER can help you get a proper diagnosis more quickly and get started with your treatment to get back to playing a game you love as soon as possible.
Common Football Injuries
Although helmets can absorb most of the shock, football players can be prone to get concussions, especially during a tackle. Concussions happen due to a blow or violent snap of the head. They are one of the most common reasons a football player should go to the ER.
Football injuries can often affect the legs with issues such as:
- Hamstring injury
- Quadriceps strains
- Jumper’s knee or patellar tendonitis
- Knee ACL injury
- Shin splints or tibial stress syndrome
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendonitis
- Foot fractures
Those leg injuries are usually due to overuse or contact with the ground or another player. They can affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or other connective tissue.
Other common football injuries are rotator cuff ones due to repetitive movements engaging the shoulders like throwing or catching the ball. Rotator cuff injuries can range from mild to severe especially with tears that may increase someone’s risk of shoulder dislocation.
Back pain due to overuse can also happen to football players especially if they do not give their body sufficient time to rest and recover between games or training sessions.
Training sessions that happen during the summer or before the weather has cooled down later in the year depending on your location can result in heat-related issues that can include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or crams. Sustained physical effort and dehydration are common causes of this type of injury.
Symptoms That Require Immediate Medical Attention
- Chest pain that lasts at least two minutes
- Labored breathing or shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
- Double or blurred vision
- Severe abdominal pain
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Cognitive or mood changes
- Slurred speech
If you experience sudden or severe pain, you should go to the ER no matter where the pain is located as it could be a traumatic injury or an internal health emergency.
You should monitor your symptoms for at least 24 hours even after a mild injury. You should go to the ER if you experience persisting or additional symptoms, even if your injury did not seem to need immediate medical attention when it first happened.
Why You Should Go to the ER
If you experience severe symptoms or are on the fence whether you should seek immediate medical attention, going to the ER is typically a wise choice. It helps you avoid complications that can be life-threatening.
The ER usually involves a shorter waiting time compared to urgent care or seeing your primary care physician. You can receive a physical evaluation and diagnosis as soon as possible. In turn this allow you to get precise instructions on what type of treatment you need.
Emergency Rooms typically have on-site facilities that allow you to get any requested testing right away, whether it is blood work or medical imaging such as x-rays and CT scans.
At Advance ER, our board-certified doctors work with the SPECIALIST NOW™ team, on-call specialists who are available to discuss your situation. This can help expedite your diagnosis and get personalized care, whether you need to speak with an orthopedist or a neurologist.
Sports Injury Prevention for Football Players
Implementing safety habits can support your health and prevent future injury after your recovery. When playing football, whether as a fun weekend activity or as a student-athlete, you can benefit from specific health practices.
Common preventative methods for football players include:
- Wearing adequate protective gear including a helmet and a mouthguard
- Properly warm up and cool down before and after a game
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after a game
- Learn your body exhaustion and pain cues and listen to them
- Use adequate techniques for specific moves like tackling
- Get enough rest between games and practices
- Incorporate regular strength training in your workout regimen
- Stay active between football seasons to maintain your physical conditioning
You should get regular medical checkups to monitor your well-being and address any concerns in a timely manner. Getting a doctor’s approval after an injury also helps you return to your football practice more safely. Taking active steps to support your well-being plays an important part when engaging in regular sports activities like football.
If you got injured while playing football in the North Dallas area, call Advance ER at (214) 494-8222 or use our online form to get professional medical advice.