Knee injuries in football are the most common, especially those to
the anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL) and to the menisci
(cartilage of the knee). These knee injuries can adversely affect a
player's longterm involvement in the sport. Football players also have a
higher chance of ankle sprains due to the surfaces played on and
Shoulder injuries are also quite common and the labrum (cartilage
bumper surrounding the socket part of the shoulder) is particularly
susceptible to injury, especially in offensive and defensive linemen. In
addition, injuries to the acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) or shoulder are
seen in football players.
Football players are very susceptible to concussions.
A concussion is a change in mental state due to a traumatic impact. Not
all those who suffer a concussion will lose consciousness. Some signs
that a concussion has been sustained are headache, dizziness, nausea,
loss of balance, drowsiness, numbness/tingling, difficulty
concentrating, and blurry vision. The athlete should return to play only
when clearance is granted by a health care professional.
Low-back pain, or back pain in general, is a fairly common complaint
in football players due to overuse. Overuse can also lead to
overtraining syndrome, when a player trains beyond the ability for the
body to recover. Patellar tendinitis (knee pain) is a common problem
that football players develop and can usually be treated by a quadriceps
are a major concern for youth football players, especially at the start
of training camp. This usually occurs in August when some of the
highest temperatures and humidity of the year occur. Intense physical
activity can result in excessive sweating that depletes the body of salt
The earliest symptoms are painful cramping of major muscle groups.
However, if not treated with body cooling and fluid replacement, this
can progress to heat exhaustion and heat stroke — which can even result
in death. It is important for football players to be aware of the need
for fluid replacement and to inform medical staff of symptoms of heat