Participating in a contact sport like football comes with the constant risk of injury. Most players experience various football injuries throughout the course of their careers, no matter what level of football they participate in. Because the game engages all of the major muscle groups, football injuries can occur almost anywhere in the body. Some of the most common are:
- Knee injuries such as ACL, MCL, and meniscus tears
- Ankle sprains and strains
- Torn hamstrings
- Muscle contusions
- Shoulder injuries such as tendinitis and dislocation
No matter what type of injury you get, a quick recovery is always a top priority. These four treatments for football injuries will help you get back on the field as fast as possible.
The 4 Best Treatments for Football Injuries
The best possible action you can do for your body after an injury is nothing at all. For at least a few days after the injury occurs, limit activity and get as much rest as you can while elevating the affected area. Your body will use as much energy as it can get to repair damaged tissues and handle the natural inflammatory response. Immobilizing the area and limiting use will give your body the best opportunity to heal. On the other hand, trying to walk with a sprained ankle or throw a football with an injured shoulder will only prolong the recovery process and may lead to further injury. Take it easy early on and you will see the long-term benefits.
2. Cold Therapy
While you are resting and even after the injury has started to heal, use therapeutic cold to control inflammation and relieve pain with ice packs or a cold therapy machine. In general, you can apply cold therapy multiple times a day for 20-minute periods. If using ice packs, replace them regularly during each treatment session to maintain a therapeutic cold temperature because ice packs warm up as they absorb heat from the injury.
3. Compression Therapy
Applying compression to football injuries will help prevent swelling because excess fluid is not allowed to build up in the injured area. You can wrap a compression bandage around the area to achieve the desired amount of pressure or use an elastic brace to maintain constant pressure. Cold therapy can also be combined with compression therapy by wrapping ice packs around the injury or using a system that delivers therapeutic cold and compression at the same time. When possible, use a system that provides active compression to deliver the additional benefits of pumping fluids out of the injured area and bringing fresh blood to the healing tissues.
4. Physical Therapy
Football injuries can result in stiffness and weakened ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Physical therapy will help you strengthen and stretch the affected tissues so you can regain range of motion as quickly as possible. Physical therapy also helps prevent re-injury by strengthening supporting muscles, teaching proper form, and encouraging warm-up and cool-down exercises to protect muscles and avoid future injury.
Many physical therapists recommend the use of the Game Ready cold therapy system to get the most benefit during each cold and compression treatment session. Ice packs and compression bandages are effective for reducing pain and swelling, but the combination of consistent therapeutic cold and active compression can help accelerate the healing process. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how Game Ready can help you recover quickly from football injuries.