According to The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 500,000 football injuries occur each year, which is two times more than that of any other sport. Furthermore, with the concern of head injuries, many believe that American football as we know it will no longer be around twenty years from now.
When the first game of football was played between Princeton and Rutgers on November 6, 1869 there was little protection against injury, of course there were also many different rules and numbers of players allowed on the field. Since then, the game has evolved greatly and has also bred tougher, faster, and stronger players, which also result in more injuries.
Types of American Football Injuries
As football is a contact sport, it is likely that there will be a large number of injuries to the participants involved. Statistics, by The American Journal of Sports Medicine, show that 67 percent of college football players reported shoulder injuries, while 34 percent of those players underwent surgery for these injuries. Of course, shoulder injuries merely scratch the surface of the total types of injuries related to football.
Some common types of football injuries include:
Over the years there have been numerous innovations in football helmets, pads, and protective devices. Of course, there are also certain precautions the players, coaches, trainers, and other personnel can take to help prevent injuries from occurring.
Preventing Football Injuries
There are several ways individuals can work to prevent football injuries from occurring, of course players, coaches, and trainers must all do their part. In any case, the following measures can be taken to help prevent injuries from occurring.
Some preventative measures include:
- Establish proper warm-up and cool-down routines
- Incorporate strength training and stretching
- Instruct athletes about proper hydration
- Pre-season health and wellness evaluations
- Speak with sports medicine professional or trainer about any injury concerns
- Speak with sports medicine professional or trainer about prevention strategies
- Stay active over summer to prepare for sport in the fall
- Use proper tackling techniques
- Wear properly fitted protective equipment
These preventative measures will assist in reducing the likelihood of an injury from occurring; however they will not completely protect individuals from becoming injured.
Most Dangerous Football Positions
Football is a dangerous sport, there is about it, however there are some positions where players may be more susceptible to injuries than others. These positions are typically associated with the player’s activity level on the field. Data provided by the NCCSI has provided some of the most dangerous positions along with the percentage of injury at each position.
The most dangerous football positions include:
- Defensive Back (34.6%)
- Defensive End (2.1%)
- Defensive Line (3.4%)
- Kick Return (4%)
- Kick-off Team (9.2%)
- Linebacker (9.5%)
- Offensive Back (5.8%)
- Offensive Lineman (1.8%)
- Punt Coverage (0.6%)
- Punt Return (0.3%)
- Quarterbacks (3.1%)
- Wide Receiver (1.8%)
These percentages also demonstrate injuries caused by tackling either by the player on the assault or the player being tackled. In any case, all players should be properly prepared for this sport and also take the necessary precautions in order to play the game effectively and injury free.