While watching last week’s Super Bowl, did you catch the incomplete pass during the 4th quarter that grounded 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo? Or how about when, 4th and 10, Garoppolo takes a sack that ends in a turnover on downs – after which, the Chiefs sealed their huge touchdown run. You can see Garoppolo take his time getting up after that one.
We did and they were awesome! But, we also saw the very real consequences of those hits on Garoppolo. And we thought we’d share some thoughts on these and other injuries, and how to work through them. Football injuries are a heated discussion right now, and rightfully so.
Any sport that requires fast paced movement and directional change puts stress on your knees, while direct contact, tackles, sacks put your shoulders at risk for dislocation. Significant attention has been brought to the damage incurred to a player’s head by the game – and for good reason. Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that are caused by direct blows or hits, which jar or shake the brain inside your skull. And your legs, the motor of every player, are also not covered by padding or helmets, such as your shoulder or head. Your legs are extremely susceptible to injury – most commonly the hamstring strain.
At Prostaff, we’re constantly looking for new ways to help our patients recover from all sorts of injuries. No doubt, football is one of the most physically daunting and damaging sports in the world – so here are just a couple tips to help you recover from injuries and soreness based on the particular area of your body:
Warm Up, Stretch Out
Flexibility, as with most other forms of exercise or sport, is key. Maintaining and improving flexibility through aerobics, strength exercises, and endurance drills. Doing so will increase your movement and help your body better absorb impact. Stretch before and after every practice. Done right, these warm-ups and cool-downs can prevent cramping and soft tissue injuries.
The best diet is a clean one – hydrating yourself before, during, and after games can sustain your endurance, focus, and strength. Water or revitalization drinks like Gatorade or Powerade can help avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. There’s a reason every football movie features players in cooling down in ice baths after practice or a meet. Icing and resting minor sprains or strains is a not-insignificant part of recovery. The rule of thumb is to ice the affected areas for 20 minutes of each hour after you’ve sustained the injury. Compression will help reduce swelling during inflammation. And perhaps the best part of RICE – elevation – can be as simple as propping the injured area up on a few pillows (taking as much weight off of it as possible), sitting on the couch with some snacks and watching television.
Football is no joke and neither are the injuries you will sustain from it. None of these tips are meant to alleviate significant pain or injury. If you see no relief, Pro Staff’s Physical Therapists have the knowledge and expertise in reducing pain and ensuring you are safe. The at-home solutions in this article are meant to remedy mild cases. For persistent or recurring pain, make an appointment with one of our experienced PTs at a location near you.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant to diagnose, treat, or rehab any patient. For official advice, schedule an appointment with us to further discuss treatment.