Football: Safety Tips
Each week during football season, dozens of college and professional players—unbelievably strong individuals who spend much of their lives in the gym—are brought to their knees by crippling injuries. That's the nature of the game—contact football is an injury-ridden sport. However, don't let that scare you away from a Sunday afternoon game of touch football. Here are some tips on playing it safe.
"At the professional football level, Monday is not a fun day. It's a demanding game. But even guys [and girls] who play touch on Sundays are running hard and have a fair number of collisions," says Stephen Rice, MD, co-director of the Jersey Shore Sports Medicine Center.
As with most sports, especially if you haven't been working out to stay in shape, "you run the risk of an injury like a pulled hamstring or a torn Achilles' tendon," says Doug McKeag, MD, chairman of family medicine and director of sports medicine for the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Recreational football players also tend to have muscle-related problems, like over-stretched or pulled muscles, Rice says. "It comes from doing too much, too suddenly," he explains. And even without a bad strain or pull, your muscles can ache after an hour or two on the field. "Delayed onset muscles soreness is common a day or two after playing." Plus, the collisions that occur even in touch football can lead to bruising.
Last reviewedApril 2012by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.