Physical Therapy Heals Football Injuries
Nov. 23, 2015
Football is one of the most injury-prone sports around. Between the tackling, running and the contortionist leaping, injuries are common at all levels of competition: From Pop Warner football leagues to NFL teams, many players have ended up on the sidelines, requiring the services and comfort of a professional physical therapy team due to uncontemplated injuries.
COMMON TYPES OF INJURIES
Football can cause a wide range of injuries, including concussions and torn knee ligaments. These injuries usually happen both during games and during practice. The most common types of injuries among college football players involve damage to the lower limbs. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, these account for 50.4 percent of football injuries.
USA TODAY Sports surveyed 293 players on 20 NFL teams and asked what body part they were most concerned about injuring in a game: 46% said knees or other parts of their legs, 24% said head and neck and 26% said none.
Football players also commonly suffer from ankle injuries, such as lateral ligament tears, and injuries to the upper limbs, including dislocated or separated shoulders. Other common injuries include lower back sprains and concussions resulting from head injuries.
PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR FOOTBALL INJURIES
The NCAA states that only 7.5 percent of college football players with injuries end up having surgery done. Surgery is typically reserved for cases in which other types of treatments have proven to be ineffective. In many cases, doctors have football players give physical therapy a try before recommending surgery.
Physical therapists and their teams are able to offer a nonsurgical method of treatment that focuses on strengthening muscles and improving flexibility in order to help injuries heal. The exercises done during these sessions can help athletes regain their full range of motion and build up muscles that have been affected by injuries. These professionals and their prescribed treatments can also help relieve pain and inflammation caused by torn ligaments, sprains and other soft tissue injuries.
PHYSICAL THERAPY AS THE FIRST TREATMENT CHOICE
Physical therapy can be used as a main form of treatment for injuries that aren't severe enough to require surgery at all. It can also be used after surgery in order to help football players recover from procedures. Players who end up dealing with chronic pain from an injury can also benefit from physical therapy. This type of treatment can help them learn to manage their symptoms while also ensuring that they have the muscle strength and flexibility needed to prevent injuring the affected area again or suffering from additional injuries.
If you're interested in helping out football players and other athletes with their injuries, becoming a physical therapy assistant could be an ideal career for you. Contact Concorde to learn more about our training program so you can get started today.