Most Common Types of Football Injuries

How to Handle the Most Common Types of Football Injuries

Author: Jomathews Verosilove on Nov 17,2022

Football is a rough sport, and players are bound to get hurt from time to time. Unfortunately, injuries can happen at any time, and there’s nothing you can do to completely avoid them. However, you can take steps to significantly reduce your risk of getting hurt and increase your chances of a quicker recovery if you do get injured. Football players must be prepared for the inevitable bumps and bruises that come with playing the game. While most players are equipped with the skills and techniques to prevent these mishaps, they are bound to happen at some point. When they do, it’s important to have the right treatment options at your fingertips. Many football teams keep a first-aid kit on hand for these situations.


However, it’s also smart to keep a small kit at home, so your family is prepared in case of an emergency. However, being forearmed with knowledge about how to handle the most common types of football injuries can help you cope when they inevitably happen. The good news is that almost all painful football injuries are minor, especially compared to other contact sports like rugby or hockey. You won’t hear many football players joking about how their bodies will end up broken after their career is over, but it’s still worth knowing what those bumps and bruises mean and how to prevent them from becoming something more serious. 


Understanding Football Injuries


Before getting into the details of specific football injuries, it’s important to understand how football injuries happen and what the difference is between an injury and an illness. Injuries are traumatic events that cause physical damage to the body, while illnesses are non-traumatic conditions that impact your health. Illnesses don’t cause physical damage to your body, but they can significantly impact your performance on the field. Many football players deal with a wide range of illnesses, from allergies to the common cold. Injuries are usually the result of the impact. The greater the force of the impact, the greater the chance of physical damage to the body.

In most cases, it’s impossible to prevent an injury from happening. However, you can significantly reduce your risk of injury by strengthening your muscles, increasing your flexibility, and improving your technique. Injuries occur when the physical stress of a game or practice causes damage to a body part, often resulting in pain and loss of function. They can be caused by a sudden jolt or collision, overuse, improper technique, or poor equipment. Illnesses, on the other hand, are caused by viruses, bacteria, or other contagious pathogens, and they can’t be prevented by proper technique, equipment, or training. While football injuries are bound to happen, it’s important to be aware of the difference between an injury and an illness to prevent the spread of germs.


Strains and Sprains


The most common football injury is a strain or sprain, which is when a ligament is overstretched or torn. The majority of these ligament injuries happen to the ankle and knee, but they can happen in any joint. A strain is a minor tear in a muscle, while a sprain is a more serious tear that causes the ligament to be stretched out of place. A strain or sprain is classified as grade 1, 2, or 3, depending on how much the ligament is torn. A grade 1, or minor, sprain or strain is the most common, and it can be treated with a few days off from practice and a brace or wrap if needed. A grade 2 or moderate sprain or strain can be treated with bracing or wearing knee or ankle support, and you’ll likely need a few weeks off of practice while the injury heals.




The second most common football injury is a concussion, which happens when the brain is jostled inside the skull. A concussion can happen with a hit to the head or body, or it can result from the rapid change in blood flow inside the brain when the head is suddenly moved. A concussion is a serious injury that requires immediate evaluation and treatment. Although there is a lot of misinformation about concussions, it’s crucial to take them seriously. If a player experiences any signs of a concussion, they need to be removed from the field and examined by a medical professional. A concussion can result in short-term or long-term damage to the brain, so it’s important that any player suspected of having one be properly evaluated by a medical professional before returning to the field. If a concussion is diagnosed, the player will likely be sidelined for at least a week. During this time, the athlete should avoid activities that increase the risk of another concussion, such as contact sports or physical exercise. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to speed up the recovery process.


Knee and Ankle Injuries


Knee and ankle injuries are some of the more serious football injuries, and they’re also the most likely to keep a player out of the game long-term. While most knee and ankle injuries won’t cause a player to retire from the game, they can cause significant problems both on and off the field. In addition to the physical pain and discomfort of these injuries, many players experience psychological distress from being unable to play. Most knee and ankle injuries are sprains, but they can also be a fracture (breaks). A knee or ankle sprain is graded as a grade 1 or 2 sprain. A knee sprain can be treated with RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation), and a grade 1 ankle sprain can be treated with a boot or crutch for support. A more serious ankle sprain can require a cast or brace for extra support. A fracture in either joint can require surgery, so it’s important to get it checked out by a doctor.


Shoulder and Back Injuries


Injuries to the shoulder and back are some of the most serious football injuries, and they can cause long-term damage or even end a player’s career if they’re not treated properly. To prevent these from happening, start with a conditioning program that strengthens your core and shoulders, as well as a stretching regimen to keep your hips flexible. Focus on technique and form when performing every drill to help prevent injury. And if you experience any pain or discomfort, stop right away and visit a doctor to determine the cause. A shoulder injury is often a dislocated joint or a torn ligament or muscle. A torn ligament can be treated with surgery or physical therapy, while a dislocated joint can sometimes be popped back into place by a medical professional or another player. A torn rotator cuff is a serious injury that requires surgery and can end a player’s career. Similarly, a herniated disc in the back can be career-ending if not treated properly. A herniated disc can be treated with surgery, but it is a very serious surgery with a long recovery time. Players need to understand the risks of a herniated disc before having surgery.




Football injuries are all too common, but they are generally easy to treat and almost always result in a quick recovery. In most cases, you can resume normal activities within a few days after the injury occurs, and you will likely experience no long-term effects. In some cases, you may require surgery to repair the injury and can expect to be out of commission for a few weeks or even months. Unfortunately, serious injuries do happen and can be devastating, but most football players have at least one game-related injury during their career. A sprained knee or shoulder, for example, is usually back to normal after a few weeks of rest, ice, and compression, whereas a broken leg may require surgery and months of physical therapy.

Football injuries are most often the result of overuse, improper equipment, or a quick jolt or collision. When it comes to preventing injuries, taking care of your body and having proper form can go a long way. Stay in shape, eat healthily, and make sure your equipment fits properly. Be sure to learn the proper form for your lifts, and stay within your limits. While it’s impossible to completely avoid injuries while playing football, it is possible to reduce the risk of injury by warming up before practice, wearing appropriate protective equipment, and taking rest days as needed. Additionally, participate in strength and conditioning exercises to improve your overall health and strength, which also supports improved performance on the field. Stay hydrated, avoid smoking or other unhealthy habits, and eat a balanced diet to maximize your performance and overall health.

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