Injuries in football Essay

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Injuries in football

Injuries in American football, can some of them be prevented? With the increase in injuries in football coaches are looking for better ways to try and prevent unnecessary injuries. Even though you cannot prevent all the injuries as a coach you want to at least prevent some. I. Explaining the content of paper preparing reader to understand the injuries and the importance of trying to prevent these injuries in American football. II. The type of serious injuries that are sustained in American football, can they are prevented or at least reduced? A.

Concussions are a very common but serious injury in football. Types of hits or collisions that contribute the concussion. B. Neck injuries and back injuries happen way to often in sport of football. Types of hits or collisions that contribute to neck and back injuries. C. Injuries to legs and arms can be serious depending on the type injury. D. Internal injuries even though not frequent can be very serious to the athlete. III. The type of injuries that are not considered to be serious but can prevent you from playing football for a period of time.

A. Pulled muscles are a part of football and there are ways to reduce these types’ injuries. B. Strains and twisted extremities such as ankles and wrists are not always serious but sometimes they can be serious. IV. Interviews with Coach Freddie Whitman, Head Football coach at Rosman High School and Coach Sammy McMahan head trainer for Rosman High School V. Discuss possible preventions and equipment changes that could take place in football that might help prevent some of these injuries.

VI. Conclusion Injuries in American football are increasing yearly, is there something that can be done? With the amount of injuries that are occurring in football it has sent up red flags all over the football community. There are numerous precautions that players, coaches, and trainers take trying to prevent injuries such as: taping ankles, wrist, and wearing extra equipment. This is only a few steps that players are taking to prevent injuries.

We will ask some current coaches and trainers to get their opinion on this topic and to see if there are any other things that players can do to prevent injuries. But as we all know football is a very violent sport and you will never be able prevent all injuries and also all injuries are not caused by violent hits. We will be discussing the different types of injuries and discuss how they can happen and if they can be prevented or at least if we can reduce the number of the injuries that happen.

The experts that will be interviewed will be Freddie Whitman, Rosman High School Varsity football coach, Sammy McMahan, Rosman High School Athletic trainer, and Paul Hamilton Head football coach at Brevard College. They will discuss whether they have noticed an increase in injuries, some of the most common injuries, some things that they do or suggest to their players to help in reducing injuries, and also talk about some different types of equipment that could possibly reduce injuries.

A good overall perspective of injuries that are sustained while playing football and the many things that can be done to prevent or reduce some of these injuries. But the main thing that people have got to start realizing is the fact that some injuries just happen no matter how many precautions that are taken the bottom line is that anytime you play sports you risk an injury. There are many different types of injuries that can occur during a course of a football season anything from head injuries to broken bones and they can be as serious as life threatening to not even missing a play.

Discussing these injuries in detail and so everyone has a better understanding of them. The first injury that will be discussed is one of the injuries that have increased over the years and the one that has become a huge emphasis at all coaching clinics and that is concussions. A concussion is result of collisions or falls or can be defined as an acute trauma-induced alteration of mental function lasting fewer than 24 hours, with or without preceding loss of consciousness.

(Sturmi) When someone sustains a concussion it is the responsibility of the doctor or the trainer to determine if the player is able to go back in the game or when that they can resume playing because sometimes concussions can very mild and an athlete can return in a matter time or more severe ones actually can cause a player to miss weeks. Now when you start getting a player that has had more than one concussion then that is when more concerns begin to start.

The risk of complications is increased in athletes who prematurely return to play and in those with prolonged loss of consciousness or post-traumatic amnesia. An athlete with prolonged loss of consciousness or signs and symptoms that worsen or persist after a concussion should be evaluated in the emergency department.

An athlete should not be allowed to resume sports participation until all symptoms of a concussion have resolved. (Sturmi) Then you also have numerous sport organizations that are making rules to try and prevent them. Some of these organizations are Pop Warner football who is limiting certain types of contact in practices like the head on collision type hits.

(Kluger) They made this change due to the research done by Dr. Julian Bailes who is the chairman of the Pop Warner Medical Advisory Board and chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the Chicago-based North Shore Neurological Institute, in a statement. “The impact of head-to-head contact causes the most severe concussions, so we felt it was imperative that Pop Warner take a proactive approach and limit contact in practices. “(Toporek) Then you have the law makers that are passing laws for youth concussion bills so far there have been 38 states to make a law regarding youth concussion.

Florida was the most recent to adopt a bill concerning youth concussions with 2 more states that have it on the floor Hawaii and Michigan. Now all the laws are a little different in each state but they all have the same objective and that is to reduce concussions among youth players. (Toporek) The NFL, college, and high school football players have to undergo test before they can play again. In North Carolina a high school player that gets a third concussion within a year is done playing sports for that school year. One of the major ways that can reduce the amount of concussions is very simply making sure the helmets fit properly.

(Torg) The second injury that we will discuss will be neck and spinal injuries and even though they are not as common as concussions usually these can be very severe. They can even be life threatening sometimes. There are certain spinal injuries that are not as severe but as a trainer, coach or Doctor you have to treat them all the same way and that is as with much caution as possible because you never know when it is severe or not, plus if you happen to move the player the wrong way then you could make the injury worse than it was in the beginning.

But there are some preventions that could help prevent some of these injuries: Coaches and trainers: Perform thorough physical exams to ensure that no athletes are playing injured. Encourage training for coaches and staff so that they are prepared to respond to a spine injury. (Toler) Coach players to use methods of blocking and tackling that do not use the head as a “battering ram. ” Arrange for a physician to be on the field during practice or a game in case of emergencies. Make sure that helmets are well-fitted and that straps are tight.

Officials: Continue to enforce penalties against helmet-to-helmet contact. Players: Focus on keeping the head up, even when blocking and tackling. Trainers should work with players to strengthen neck muscles so that they can maintain proper posture during the game. Players need to immediately report “warning signs” of an injury (such as numbness or tingling, pain or pressure in the head/neck/back, weakness or uncoordination, and difficulty breathing) – and should not return to the game. (Cohen) So many young players today feel like that they must use their helmets when they tackling and blocking.

Some of these reasons that this occurs is that they have not been taught properly and they have not been corrected by their coaches. If they have not been corrected when they tackle or block incorrectly they will continue doing it wrong until they are corrected. Many players the older they get the harder it is for them to correct a bad habit. The arm and leg injuries can be very serious depending on the type of injury that it. There are an estimated 600,000 to 1. 2 million football-related injuries per year among young adults in the United States.

( Carlisle) Injuries to forearms tend to be mostly fractures and some fractures are more serious than others and as a coach or a trainer you have probably seen at least one bad one. When you have an open compound fracture then that is considered bad because the player is bleeding. But just because you have a fractured arm or a fractured leg it does not always mean it is a serious it could be just what people call a hairline fracture. With fractures there is not a lot of prevention that can be taken maybe some extra padding might help.

Then of course you have the MCL or Medial Collateral Ligament damage when you tear this you have a very serious injury. Depending on the severity of this injury will determine the recovery time. There are three different grades that doctors give to a Medial collateral ligament injury. A grade I tear is basically when the tendon is not completely torn so with this type of injury the players will probably only miss a week or two.

A grade II tear is another injury that does not have a complete tear in the Medial Collateral Ligament a player will normally miss about three to four weeks. A grade III tear is a complete tear and the healing process is about six weeks and can be longer than that depending on the athlete. Now an ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears can cause the individual to have surgery, especially when it is in a young kid reconstructive surgery is the norm. Some things that might help prevent or at least reduce these types of injuries are to wear a knee brace. Now some internal injuries that can be caused by football or by the hits during football can be very serious.

When you are talking about your internal organs getting hurt the bad thing is you can’t tell what is wrong until you actually go see a doctor. Even though there are certain signs that a trainer would look for you actually have to wait to be correctly diagnosed. But you need to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible because this is a very serious injury. When you end up taking a direct hit to the stomach or back with a helmet or even a shoulder pad it can cause an internal injury. This is what doctors call “blunt trauma”.

When the injury is serious it will cause bleeding in abdomen which in turn gets into your liver, kidney, or spleen. Just imagine this; a football player gets hit directly in the abdomen. The spleen and liver could be compressed by the hit and could cause bleeding inside the organ. If the hit is severe enough the organ can be torn and bleeding can actually get into the abdominal cavity that contains the organs such as: intestines, liver or spleen. There are a couple of injuries that are common in football injuries ruptured spleens, strains, and hernias.

A ruptured spleen is the most serious of the three but all hurt and causes a lot of discomfort. Once again injuries are a part of football and many injuries can be prevented or at least reduced. The internal injuries are no different than any other ones because with proper stretching, strengthening and conditioning these types of injuries can be reduced. (Madoff 2005) The one thing that give coaches one of the biggest concerns is dehydration and heat stroke amongst players because with the beginning of football season being in the heart of the hottest months of the year.

Heatstroke is the third leading cause of death among athletes in the United States. Thirty-nine football players — 29 in high school — have died from heat stroke since 1995, according to data compiled by the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research at the University of North Carolina. (Winklejohn) The serious injuries are the ones that most people focus on, but the ones that most coaches hate the most are the nagging not so serious injuries. Injuries like sprains, strains, and muscle pulls are nagging injuries these injuries you can’t really say when a player can play again.

Because with these types of injuries a lot of times it is basically when the player feels like he can player some players are different than others. Some can handle a little pain and then some can’t. These are definitely true when it comes to strains and sprains if a player can handle the pain then they will play and if they can’t they sit. Doctor’s grades these sprains and strains grade I, II, and III with I being the least severe and III being the worse. Players can be out as little as one day to out indefinitely.

Now the treatment of these type injuries especially the severe ones is basically (R. I.C. E) Rest, Ice, Compression, and finally Elevation. (Quinn) This is all with the first 24 to 48 hours and they can take an over-the-counter inflammatory medicine to help keep the swelling down. Keeping the swelling down as much as possible is the goal in those first 48 hours. Of course ankles and foot sprains and strains are a little more difficult to come back from than say wrist or arm.

Muscle pulls can be pretty tough on a player because you have to wait until you are healed before you start playing again because if you rush back to quick you can make things worse and you will miss even more time.

So always make sure you are ready to come back from this injury and as bad as the player wants to get back playing you must wait until you are 100%. Here is a little background information on Freddie Whitman, the head football coach of Rosman High School before we get into his interview to establish his credibility. He graduated from Rosman high school in 1985 where he played football and then went to Mars Hill College where he also played college football and studied US History. After he graduated from Mars Hill in 1990 he took a teaching and assistant coaching job at Rosman high school and has the longest current tenure at the high school.

He was promoted to head football coach in 2010. Question 1: What is one of the most common injury that your team faces year in and year out? Coach Whitman: I would probably say that the most common injury would have to be pulled muscles. But the most serious injury that happens to my players way to often is concussions just in the past three years I have lost at least one player lost for the complete year due to concussions. We probably average about one concussion every two to three weeks. Question 2: What is the most serious injury that you have ever seen?

Coach Whitman: Well I have seen my fair share of bad injuries during my time as a coach. I have seen broken bones, concussions, and numerous dislocations. But the one that sticks out in my mind was when one of players dislocated his hip so severe that emergency surgery was required. Question 3: Have you taken actions to try and prevent or to reduce injuries? Coach Whitman: Well my coaching staff and I have made numerous steps trying to prevent injuries. We require all players to wear knee braces trying to reduce knee injuries.

Our before game or practice stretching routines we make sure we warm-up for at least 20 minutes trying to reduce muscle strains, sprains, and pulls. Coach Sammy McMahan has been the athletic trainer for the Rosman high school since 1996. What as the athletic training do you do to try and prevent injuries? Coach McMahan: There numerous things I do to try and prevent injuries but I think the one thing that I do that works the best is I tape players ankles and wrist trying to prevent the numerous twisted ankles or sprains that happen on a regular basis.

Question 2: Have you seen an increase in injuries since you have been a trainer? Coach McMahan: Yes there has definitely been an increase in injuries. Question 3: What in your opinion is the cause in the increase of injuries? Coach McMahan: My personal opinion on this is the fact that the players are bigger, stronger, and faster which makes the collisions even that much harder. Also a lot of athletes don’t take the stretching session serious and when they don’t then they are not stretching properly. Like we have discussed throughout the paper how to prevent and/or reduce injuries in football.

It seems as if ever coach tries something a little different but the main thing is that they are trying to get a grip on this problem. With knee injuries being one of the most common football injuries nowadays it seems like there would be more demand for players to wear knee braces. There are some teams out there that are requiring their players to wear them. It has not been proven that they consistently reduce or prevent knee injuries but they are still doing studies. (Salata) But some of the simplest preventions as discussed before is with the proper conditioning, strengthening, and stretching you should be able to reduce injuries.

With American football being one of the sports with the most injuries in it, is there anything that can be done to prevent these injuries? All the research that has been done so far has introduced some different ways to reduce injuries. But all the research in the world cannot prevent injuries, this is why as coaches and doctors can only try and reduce them. There are many different types of new equipment that can be worn to help prevent some of the injuries, like wearing knee braces or neck braces, these pieces of equipment are not required rule but some teams do require their players to wear them.

Knee braces protect the knee from certain injuries that are caused by getting hit in the knee. And neck braces are another piece of equipment that can reduce injuries. Hopefully with further research and newer equipment the injuries in this sport can be reduced even further.

Football is one of Americas most watched sport and with the trend of injuries that continue to increase in the sport something definitely has to be done to help these athletes survive. Toler, J. D. , Petschauer, M. A. , Mihalik, J. P. , Oyama, S. , Halverson, S. , & Guskiewicz, K. M. (2010).

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The Effectiveness of Prophylactic Knee Bracing in American Football: A Systematic Review. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 2(5), 375-379. Brophy, R. H. , Wright, R. W. , Powell, J. W. , & Matava, M. J. (2010). Injuries to Kickers in American Football. American Journal Of Sports Medicine, 38(6), 1166-1173 Williams, S. , Hume, P. A. , & Kara, S. (2011).

A Review of Football Injuries on Third and Fourth Generation Artificial Turfs Compared with Natural Turf. Sports Medicine, 41(11), 903-923. Torg J, Boden B, Hirsch H, Fowler J, Gaughan J, Comstock RD, Tierney R, Kelly P. Athletic Induced mTBI and Catastrophic Intracranial Injuries: Determining Helmet Efficacy and Predisposing Injury Profiles. Presentation Paper AOSSM 2012.

John C. Carlisle, MD, et al. Upper Extremity Injuries in the National Football League. In American Journal of Sports Medicine. October 2008. Vol. 36. No. 10. Pp. 1944-1952 Mild brain trauma in sports. Diagnosis and treatment guidelines. Sturmi JE, Smith C, Lombardo JA.

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2005 http://blogs. edweek. org/edweek/schooled_in_sports/2012/06/pop_warner_to_limit_type_amount_of_contact_in_youth_football_practices. html http://blogs. edweek. org/edweek/schooled_in_sports/2012/05/youth_concussion_law_update_fla_makes_38. html http://ezinearticles. com/expert=Ben_R_Cohen http://sports. espn. go. com/ncaa/recruiting/football/news/story? id=4372652 http://sportsmedicine. about. com/cs/injuries/a/sprains_2. htm Elizabeth Quinn.

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