Sports Injury Management
Injuries are common occurrences in many sporting activities. The nature of the game determines the type of injuries and the areas affected by the body upon injury. The sporting activity selected for discussion is football. Like all the sports, football has several risks of injury. As a matter of fact, football has the highest risk of injury in comparison to other types of sports. A major reason for the increased number of risks is the fact that it is a high impact sport. The likely activities like tackling, blocking, and other physical interactions between the players result in contusions, concussions, and other related injuries. Other reasons that football injuries common is the nature of the game. The players require pivoting and changing the direction that increases the possibility of injuries in the tissues and joints.
The anterior cruciate ligament of the knee is damaged when a player has a big impact on the front or rear direction. The players can also have injuries to the medial collateral ligament in the knee which is common upon a large impact in the knee from the side. Torn meniscus are common injuries when a player rotates their body having the foot planted and twisting the knee causing the meniscus to tear. Ankle sprains and strains are the most common injury in all types of sports. The ankles are likely to damage the soft tissue when pivoting, changing direction, and also by putting pressure on the joint. Muscle cramps are sudden and intense pain caused by muscle involuntary and contraction without relaxation. Blisters are fluid-filled sacks on the skin surface and usually occur on the hands, and feet (Chomiak, Junge, Peterson & Dvorak, 2000).
Known Risk Factors
There are several risk factors associated with football injuries which can be intrinsic or extrinsic. The intrinsic factors include previous injury and inadequate rehabilitation, flexibility, muscle strength and balance, fatigue, as well as postural stability and anatomical alignment. The extrinsic factors include the level of competition, skill level, the shoe type, playing ground, climate, training methods, foul play, and inadequate equipment.
Fatigue is a loss of performance capacity resulting from the previous performance that increases the risk of an injury. The previous injury is a big risk factor for the muscle injuries and increases if there is a history of the same injury. Some players lack the flexibility that results in increased incidence of muscle strain and overuse injuries. Muscle imbalance is also a major risk factor to the football injuries. The nature of the playing surface could be a risk factor to injuries. For instance, wet fields result to contact injuries; frosty surfaces cause falls, dry surfaces results to grapes, and uneven surfaces results to ankle sprains. The climate like extreme heat makes the player heat exhausted and extreme cold causes could make the pitch dangerous to use (McCall, Carling, et.al, 2015).
The level of competition and skills are a cause of collisions that result in more muscle strains and overuse injuries. The shoe type is a major risk factor to injuries in which the old boot is heavy and has fewer foot injuries, but more overuse injuries. The new boot model is lighter, has less protection, hence more susceptible to contact and foot injuries. Training ought to be planned, periodical, measurable, progressive, and sport specific to minimize injuries. Inadequate equipment is also a risk factor for injuries, hence ought to be sport specific, safe, and in good condition. Foul play accounts for more than 40 % of all the football injuries (McCall, Carling, et.al, 2015).
Recommendations for Risk Reduction
Football is a popular sport, but also with high injury prevalence with all the participants potentially suffering from an injury. There are certain things that can’t change, but it’s necessary to reduce the risk of injury in football. The model for prevention of injury follows a process determined by the incidence of injury, determining the mechanism of each injury for prevention, designing and implementing the prevention interventions, and evaluating the injury incidence (Arnason, Sigurdsson, et. al., 2004). The risk reduction strategies include proper preparation for a game, use of proper equipment, prepare for likely injuries, and safe return to play.
Proper preparation for the game entails maintaining fitness through aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility; pre-season physical, warming up and stretching, and hydration. Protective equipment is an important factor in reducing the risk of injury in football. Thus, players ought to have helmets, shoulder pads, jersey, mouth guard, and shoes. The coach ought to be knowledgeable about first aid and be able to offer it for the minor injuries. It is also important to be prepared for emergencies and ready personnel to handle them. An injured player should undergo the complete symptoms before returning to play and cleared by the medical provider. Every club member has a duty to care for all the participants and also engage in training or the March activities (Kirkendall, Junge & Dvorak, 2010).
Emergency Action Plan
Most of the football injuries are not effectively preventable; hence it’s important to have an emergency action plan to address the issues that arise (Parkkari, Kujala & Kannus, 2001). The emergency response plan entails several components that make it reliable in case of an undesirable occurrence. The EAP has personnel who understand the responsibilities of each member of the medicine team, coaching staff, and administration. The plan should have the delegation of staff duties to keep the facility safe, manage the spectators, and restrict others from interfering with the medicine staff. Also important is to have a defined chain of command for the medical decision making.
The EAP includes a communication plan that designates the telecommunication devices and a list of emergency phone numbers. It ought to have a written description of the venue and access points that facilitates a fast response by the emergency response team. Also includes is the plan for notification of the hospital emergency department to receive the injured players (Courson, 2007).
The emergency action plan also includes a description of the regular check up, and maintenance of all the equipment used during an emergency. Each member of the sports medicine team should be knowledgeable and trained in the techniques and equipment used in an emergency. Other considerations for the emergency plan are information files for the medical information, and a catastrophic incident plan that covers injuries resulting to death or permanent disability (Courson, 2007).
The prevention and minimization of injury should be a progressive and comprehensive effort by all the sporting team members. Football has high risks of injury and can be minimized by enacting actionable strategies to reduce the occurrences. Every football club ought to have an emergency response team and an action plan to handle the injury occurrences.
Arnason, A., Sigurdsson, S. B., Gudmundsson, A., Holme, I., Engebretsen, L., & Bahr, R. (2004). Risk factors for injuries in football:The American journal of sports medicine, 32(1 Suppl), 5S-16S.
Chomiak, J., Junge, A., Peterson, L., & Dvorak, J. (2000) Severe injuries in football players influencing factors: The American journal of sports medicine, 28(Suppl 5), S-58
Courson, R. (2007). Preventing sudden death on the athletic field: the emergency action plan: Current sports medicine reports, 6(2), 93-100.
Kirkendall, D. T., Junge, A., & Dvorak, J. (2010) Prevention of Football Injuries: Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 1(2), 81–92.
McCall, A., Carling, C., Davison, M., Nedelec, M., Le Gall, F., Berthoin, S., & Dupont, G. (2015). Injury risk factors, screening tests and preventative strategies: a systematic review of the evidence that underpins the perceptions and practices of 44 football (soccer) teams from various premier leagues. British journal of sports medicine, 49(9), 583-589
Parkkari, J., Kujala, U. M., & Kannus, P. (2001). Is it possible to prevent sports injuries?. Sports Medicine, 31(14), 985-995.