With all eyes on Euro 2016 as well as the upcoming NFL season, this is a good time to take stock of common Soccer and football injuries and the treatments available for them in NYC health care centers. Being a high-impact game, the risk of injury is higher in football than in other sports. The game involves movements like twisting, turning, tackling, blocking, running, and pivoting to change direction suddenly, all of which increase the likelihood of sports injuries such as sprains, concussions, muscle damage, and overuse injuries.
Common Injuries among Football Players
NFL injury statistics documented 190 concussions during season games and practices alone in 2015, which was an increase of 35 percent from 2014. Knee injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries rose to 56 in 2015 from 49 in the previous season and medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries from 139 to 170 during the same period. NFL had also reported that as many as 234 players had injuries such as 12 concussions, two neck injuries, and one other unspecified injury to the head into the second week of play during the 2015 season. The most common musculoskeletal injuries in football include the following:
- ACL and MCL injuries: While the ACL is injured when the player is hit from the front or the rear, an MCL occurs when the knee is impacted from the side. In addition to swelling, pain, bruising and tenderness, range of motion will also be affected.
- Meniscus tears: The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions the knee. This knee injury is caused by a movement the forceful twisting of the joint while the foot stays planted. Symptoms include knee pain, swelling, popping, and giving way.
- Ankle sprains and strains: Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that connect bone to bone are pulled, stretched or torn due to an injury. The soft tissues of the ankle get damaged when the player turns, changes direction, or puts too much pressure on the joint. The common symptoms of a sprain are pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking.
- Overuse injuries: American football players, especially quarterbacks, suffer lower back or overall back pain due to overuse from overtraining.
- Shoulder injuries: These include shoulder tendinitis and shoulder separation. While tendinitis is the result of frequent throwing due to repetitive motions, a dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus gets dislodged from the scapula.
Effective Non-invasive Treatment Options
New York based multispecialty health care centers provide effective non-invasive treatments for sports injuries. Based on the nature of the injury, the pain management modalities used would range from rest, ice packs, medications and massage to injections, physical therapy, chiropractic care, TENS, and cold compression therapy. Treatment plans are developed after evaluation and diagnosis using advanced techniques such as an MRI scan if necessary. At the right health care center, treatment by experienced sports medicine specialists would speed up the healing process, allowing players to return to their sport quicker.