Common Football Injuries and Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Although it's a popular sport among athletes of any age, football carries a high risk of injury for players. As many as 1.2 million football-related injuries occur every year, and older athletes are at an even higher risk for being hurt than younger people. People who play on teams with more experienced coaching staff may suffer fewer injuries, but knowing the risks and taking preventative measures can also help reduce serious injuries. But when mishaps happen, from football neck injuries to concussions, Kinetic Sports Medicine can provide non-surgical care to help you get back on the field faster.
The most common football injuries involve musculoskeletal and head injuries. The top activity-related issues include MCL and ACL injuries to the ligaments in the knee, a torn meniscus in the knee, torn hamstrings, injuries to the ankle, and muscle contusions. Shoulder separation and dislocation are also common football injuries. A football "stinger" injury can happen after a fall or collision, and it involves the nerves at the neck or shoulder. This injury can occur when a player's head is pushed sideways or down, which pinches surrounding nerves and sends a strong stinging sensation down the arm. Football players can also experience overuse injuries such as shoulder tendinitis from frequent throwing.
Young players have a higher risk of football head injuries during play. Concussions can occur from a blow to the head or to the body. A strong enough blow can cause the brain to shift quickly inside the skull, which changes how the brain functions. Symptoms of a concussion include confusion, memory problems, nausea, headache, fatigue, and mood changes. These symptoms may occur immediately, or they could appear days or even weeks later. Football head injuries require careful treatment to prevent long-term health issues.
Conventional treatment of a football knee injury or other similar ailment generally involves stopping play and getting an examination by a physician. A sudden collision on the field can result in issues such as whiplash in the neck or an excruciating knee injury. Diagnostic tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan help to determine the extent of the injury. Depending on the diagnosis, patients may be prescribed rest, medication, or even surgery to correct the issue.
Alternative Treatment Options
Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma injections are innovative non-operative treatments that offer new options for healing. With these procedures, a patient's own cells are injected at the injury site to surround the ligaments and cartilage and promote healing. The growth factors present in these cells can hasten tissue regeneration and repair. These procedures can help the body with its own natural healing process.
Dr. Richard Kim is a primary care sports medicine physician, and his primary goal is to focus on non-surgical and non-invasive treatment options to resolve pain and injuries. Contact us to schedule an appointment. Once you learn more about our services, you may be ready to explore these non-operative therapies to resolve a football injury.