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Football Injury Prevention: Tips for Pre-season Strategies for Preventing Injuries
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Sep 18, 2013 - 6:06:58 PM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Carmel, NY, September 2013 - For many years, the number of student athletes playing football at the high school level has far surpassed the number of participants in any other sport. During the 2012-2013 season, more than 1.1 million boys played tackle football and 8,600 girls played tackle or flag football at the high school level, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. And USA Football estimates that there are 3 million youth football players, age 6-14, in the United States. "Football is a highly physical sport that combines contact and speed," says Dr. Scott Levin, orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Somers Orthopaedic Sugery & Sports Medicine Group. "With more than 4 million young players, it isn't surprising that football is responsible for more injuries than other sports. The good news is that attentiveness to football injury prevention is the primary priority for everyone involved in the sport and with improved standards for play and practice, better protective equipment and conscientious player conditioning, young players can reduce their risk of getting hurt and minimize the severity of injuries that do occur."

Overuse injuries do occur in football but traumatic injuries are more prevalent, typically caused by the force of being brought down or of attempting to bring another player down. While head injuries are the most worrisome, the most common injuries are contusions (bruises) followed by ligament sprains. The lower extremities suffer the most injuries, particularly the ligaments and cartilage of the knee and the ankle. Shoulder injuries are also common, particularly in offensive and defensive linemen. "Everyone involved in football - players, parents, coaches, trainers, officials, maintenance staff - has an important role in preventing injury," says Dr. Levin. "Here are some of the highest-priority strategies for safeguarding the health and well-being of young players."

Conditioning

Play and Practice

Equipment

"It is inevitable that there will be injuries in football," says Dr. Levin. "The first step in preventing them and minimizing their severity is for parents and athletes to be well informed and diligent in following best practices. Parents, who know their child best, should be actively involved and ensure that the child is not pushing himself beyond safe limits."

Scott M. Levin, M.D., F.A.A.O.S is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group.

Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group, PLLC, was founded in 1988 and is one of the most comprehensive and specialized practices in the region.  www.somersortho.com

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