Football Fever and Sports Injuries
Football is one of the most popularly played sport in India. This sport combines speed, agility, power, strength and hence requires quick movements and changes in direction in addition to avoiding contact with other players in a high speed environment. As a consequence, the risk of injury is fairly high.
The Injuries commonly associated with Football are:
1. Hamstring Strain
2. Groin Strain
3. Ankle Sprain
4. Foot fracture
5. Knee cartilage/ ligament tear
Hamstring Strain: also known as pulled Hamstring, it is caused by a pull or tear of the muscle leading to a sudden sharp pain at back of the thigh. Whilst mild hamstring injuries can usually be cured by a combination of rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication, the more serious strains often require a prolonged period of rest and recovery which will may prevent a player from taking part in training for a long period.
Groin Strain: is common & often occurs as a result of a player stretching to reach the ball. Groin strains are caused by over-extension of the adductor muscles which are located in the inner thigh. Although, mild injuries heal quickly, a player should still refrain from participating in demanding physical activity until it has fully healed. More severe injuries can take several weeks to heal with aid of physiotherapy which helps to speed up recovery and also strengthen the affected muscle.
Ankle Sprain: Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments surrounding the joint are damaged or stretched beyond their normal limit. The ankle joint is particularly vulnerable in football due to the fast-paced nature of the game, the actions of twisting and turning and the possibility of poorly-timed tackles. Consequently, ankle sprains are common amongst footballers. Mild injuries usually heal fairly quickly although the ankle may feel sore when a player is standing or moving. Serious sprains require good rehabilitation which may take several weeks. In some players, if ankle problems are persistent, it may be necessary to undergo surgery.
Foot fracture: The foot has 5 metatarsal bones which stretch from the ankle to the toes. These bones can break, especially when the foot is put under constant pressure in a sport like football. Fracture of the 5th metatarsal is most common. This is managed with anti-inflammatory medication and plaster. At times, surgery may also be necessary to treat the fracture.
Knee Cartilage/ Ligament tear: As football is a pivoting type of sport, twisting injuries to the knee cartilage, ligaments are not uncommon. Minor injuries will recover with a period of rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication & physiotherapy. But often, these are severe injuries which require surgery and good rehabilitation for recovery.
The important factors in preventing an injury are –
Giving adequate time for Warm-ups.
Using good equipment i.e. shoes, correct playing surface.
Practicing a good technique.
Knowing ones physical limits i.e. not over train.
Allowing sufficient time to Cool-down.