There’s an old saying about football, “It’s not a contact sport; it’s a collision sport. “
What does this mean?
Well, basketball, soccer and lacrosse are contact sports. During the course of play, there’s a good chance that you’ll get bumped or hit. In football, it’s a guarantee that your will get hit HARD Every Single Play. When the ball is snapped, you are trying to hurt someone and they are trying to hurt you.
Think about that.
Is there any question why, aside from cheerleading, football is one of the most injury-ridden sports out there?
But surprisingly enough, according to a recent study conducted by the NCAA, only 7.5% of football-related injuries end up requiring surgery. So, how are the other 92.5% percent of injuries treated?
You guessed it. Physical Therapy.
Knee injuries are common among football players, and for good reason. You are constantly cutting, stopping, starting and taking hits to your legs. The most common knee injuries involve the ACL, PCL and the meniscus. Fortunately, not all knee injuries require surgery. Many injuries can be addressed through physical therapy alone.
Typically, physical therapists will focus on strength exercises in order to strengthen the whole leg followed by balance exercises to increase the player’s confidence and overall balance. During therapy sessions, the therapist will also perform treatment to reduce pain and swelling, this can include flexibility exercises, massage and ice treatments.
Most shoulder injuries involve the labrum. These are especially common among offensive and defensive linemen. Fortunately, most labrum injuries respond well to physical therapy and do not require surgery.
Physical therapy will typically involve biomechanical approach in order to improve mobility and reducing the chance of repetitive injury. This allows the tissue to heal on its own.
As we mentioned, football is a collision game and concussions do occur. Concussions are not to be taken lightly. They are serious business.
Physical therapy for concussions involves constant evaluation and specific exercises to improve balance, vision and restore brain function. The evaluation is truly the important part. The worst thing a player can do is return to the field to early and sustain a second concussion.
Overuse injuries are just that. They are injuries sustained from using a certain muscle group too much and/or improperly. Typically, the physical therapist will perform therapies to reduce inflammation and pain while educating the patient on how to stretch the affected area in order to prevent future injury.
So, in order to prevent injury, stretch, train and pay attention to your body. Your body will tell you when something is wrong, and when your body starts sending those messages, come into MSA and let us take a look at it.