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Tackling High School Football to Avoid Injury

It’s football season, and you know what that means!  Time to talk about common injuries and how to prevent them. (What did you think we’d say — tailgating?) With over a million high school teens hitting the gridiron this fall (National Federation of State High School Associations), it’s estimated that they’ll experience more than 500,000 injuries this year. In fact, the high-impact sport has the highest rate of injury of all high school sports.

A study completed in 2015 showed the percentage breakdown of injuries sustained while playing football are as follows:

  • Head or face (28%)
  • Knees (14%)
  • Ankles (11%)
  • Shoulders (10%)

While running backs and linebackers have the greatest risk of injury, that same study also showed when most injuries occur:

  • 68% while tackling
  • 22% when blocking

With increased scrutiny on the safety to the sport in recent years, ensuring player safety is rightfully everyone’s top priority. That’s why our Beacon Orthopaedic Physicians and athletic trainers on the field are committed to doing what we can to help prevent injuries when possible and treat them as soon as possible when they do happen.

High School Football Injury Prevention

Getting back to basics is the most crucial element in injury prevention — in any physical activity, really. However, when it comes to sports, and especially football, it’s critical.

Proper warm-up, staying hydrated, maintaining weight and aerobic training, and using appropriate techniques are the building blocks of injury prevention. Engaging in position-specific conditioning and training can also help avoid preventable injuries.

Being aware of the most common injuries players could sustain is also useful in helping provide extra protection where it counts the most.

Most Common Diagnosis in High School Football*

  • Fracture (38.2%)
  • Incomplete ligament sprain (14.3%)
  • Complete ligament sprain (10.7%)

* The American Journal of Sports Medicine

The Takeaway

One of the best lessons the adults in young athletes’ lives can teach them to do is to avoid “playing through the pain.” Instead, help them learn to listen to their bodies and take care of injuries sooner, rather than later. That helps prevent injuries from getting worse and sidelining them for an entire season or worse — taking them out of the sport completely.

Find an Orthopaedic Specialist

As prepared as we can be to take the field, injuries can still happen. If your athlete sustains an injury, as sports medicine Cincinnati experts, Beacon is here to help with urgent care locations conveniently located throughout the region. You can also schedule appointments online.