Although injuries can happen while playing any sport, football is one of the most risky because of the contact involved. Both neck and back injuries are fairly common, occurring in an estimated 10 to 15 percent of players. However, in many cases these injuries can be avoided by educating yourself on how the spine works.
If you play football, you should seriously consider visiting a chiropractor. They can give you advice on how to stay safe as well as provide care that can benefit your performance. Although you may be young, one injury could keep you from playing the rest of the season, or even your whole life.
Whether or not you decide to visit a chiropractor, here are three ways you can help prevent injuries while playing football.
Keep Head Up During Tackle
Because of the high level of force involved in tackles, it is no surprise that this is one of the most common ways football players can get injured. During this action, the cervical spine can become compressed, potentially resulting in a serious neck injury. The impact to the cervical spine becomes increased if the player’s head is dropped during the collision.
As a result, football players should always keep their heads up while tackling. You should also do everything you can to avoid head-to-head contact with another player. By properly following these tackling mechanics, you significantly reduce the risk of obtaining an upper back and neck injury.
If you play football, you likely already realize the importance of working out your muscles in order to improve your body’s performance. However, it can sometimes be easy to forget about vulnerable areas of the body, such as the neck, and instead focus more on areas of the body that produce more visible results, such as the upper body or legs.
Always incorporate neck-strengthening exercises into your workouts. You may not initially see or feel a difference, but the stronger your neck becomes, the more the muscles in it will be capable of absorbing impact from a collision. This can greatly reduce the risk of injury, especially when the head is raised.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Your coach has likely already taught you this during practice, but it is an important aspect of avoiding injuries in sports. If your muscles haven’t been stretched or warmed up prior to a game, they are much more likely to tear or become strained. In addition, your muscles need to cool down so that they don’t experience sharp contractions from being over-exerted.
Visit Olympia Chiropractic and Physical Therapy
If you are concerned about obtaining back or neck injuries while playing football, or would like more information on how to avoid them, visit Olympia Chiropractic and Physical Therapy.