Sports Medicine and Football Safety
Sports medicine, along with proper training and equipment, can help football players stay safe while they're out on the field.
Proper training and coaching should include instruction regarding general physical fitness as well as implementation of stretching routines. By warming up the muscles before working out, players can avoid pulled muscles and other injuries before training, scrimmages, and games. When beginners come out to their first practice, they're usually anxious to start throwing or kicking the ball or tackling their teammates. A safety-focused coach or trainer will require them to stretch and warm up first, though, setting the standard early on.
In addition to good training, football players need safety equipment in order to avoid injuries. The most important aspect of safety equipment is the helmet, which protects the head. In order to achieve the best protection possible, the helmet should be properly fitted and securely strapped. It should also include a face mask and mouth guard. Beneath the helmet, in the back, is the neck roll, which prevents the head from being jerked backward in a fall. By protecting the head from trauma, players can avoid concussions and other potentially major debilitating injuries. Additional safety equipment includes shoulder pads, rib pads, hip pads, a jock strap, and thigh pads. Basically, the aim of these protective pads is to protect the areas left most vulnerable during tackles and falls. Most of them are standard for all players, but rib pads are often used only by quarterbacks whose ribs are left unprotected when they raise both arms in order to throw the football. (Of course, jock straps are used only by male players.)
Proper training and safety equipment are certainly key, but sports medicine can also play a key part in players' health. Because sports medicine experts treat the unique health needs of athletes, they are familiar with the types of injuries and complications various athletic pursuits include. For instance, these specialized medical professionals would be able to evaluate a kicker's pulled hamstring better than a general practitioner, because they're familiar with how a well-toned leg looks and feels. As a result, they're better able to prescribe treatment, whether that includes physical therapy, rest, or even surgery.
Because most people who go into this niche of the medical field love athletics too, they can understand the football player's desire to get back on the field; at the same time, they will advise a player in order to help avoid long-term disabilities.
With the proper training, safety equipment, and sports medicine, football players can play it safe, even in one of the roughest sports around.
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