With the NFL pre-season in full swing, we turn our attention once more to how you can protect yourself and those you care about on the football field this season.

Because football is a contact sport, one that looks violent with all its collisions, some are surprised to hear more injuries happen playing basketball or cycling. Football comes in third in terms of quantity of injuries. However, injuries differ from sport to sport. The overuse injuries of baseball are very different than some of the traumatic injuries one sees in football. That makes it imperative to understand what type of injuries happen in football and how you should protect your body during practices and games.

Common football injuries

Many football injuries happen instantaneously, compared to the more prolonged damage pitching and throwing cause. Football injuries happen when a player twists a limb or takes a bad fall. Or they occur during contact. Football injuries often fall into one of four categories:

1. Traumatic Injuries

Knee injuries, torn ligaments, broken bones, shoulder injuries — usually from contact, twisting, or falling — are traumatic injuries.

2. Concussions

These are very serious head injuries that may cause lasting damage. Any loss of consciousness should be treated immediately.

3. Overuse Injuries

Football players sometimes complain of pain in the lower back or in the knees, as these areas of the body are regularly stressed.

4. Heat Injuries

It’s no secret that football gets going during the hottest time of the year. You have to focus on proper hydration.

You can visit FastMed if you experience any of these injuries. Your local FastMed has all the state-of-the-art technology needed to treat you, in less time and at a lower cost than a visit to your average emergency room. We can take X-rays, diagnose a concussion, treat a broken bone, or recommend an MRI to get a knee injury thoroughly checked.

Do you ever look at an NFL sideline? How often do you see players getting treatment? All the time, right? In the real world, if you’re playing pickup football or your child is playing for his school, you can’t get treatment whenever you want, as few teams have a dedicated medical staff. That’s why your local FastMed Urgent Care clinic is so important. We’re here on the weekends all season long if you need medical assistance.

To prevent football injuries 

Football is an unpredictable sport. You can be in the best shape, practice perfect technique, and understand your assignments and still get hurt.

You can’t guarantee you’ll go home injury-free after each game or practice, but you can focus on preventative measures. Try to remember the acronym MUGS when you’re making a plan to stay safe on the football field. (We’re cheating a little here with the “U,” but bear with us — it’ll all make sense soon.)

  • M is for Mouth Guard: Don’t forget to put in your mouth guard before every play of every practice and game. A mouth guard protects your entire mouth and jaw. You want a pretty smile when you’re lifting the trophy at the end of the season, right?
  • U is for You: What’s the most important part of you? What drives your ability to think, love, and communicate? It’s your brain. The essence of you is upstairs in your noggin — so protect your head. Wear a helmet and tighten it properly.
  • G is for Gear: There’s a reason you wear so many pads in football. From your knees to your neck, make sure you wear all your gear correctly. Each piece of padding is there for a reason.
  • S is for Shoes: Don’t forget about your cleats. Good shoes can prevent some of the lower body twisting injuries that are so common in football. You also want to wear the right length of cleats for the weather conditions.

If you’re going to play football this year or have a player in your home, focus on safety. MUGS may help you prevent some injuries in the long run.

FastMed will get you back in the game 

If you do get hurt out there, visit your nearest FastMed. Whether you’re in the Carolinas, wishing the Panthers could build on last year’s success, or in Arizona, hoping the Cardinals have a better finish, FastMed is equipped to handle any of your immediate medical needs. Often, we can help you faster and more cost-effectively than an emergency room.

Put FastMed in your playbook at the start of the season and call us anytime you need assistance. We’re happy to be a member of your team.