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What are some injuries related to playing football?

According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 1.2 million injuries are reported related to football each year. Approximately half of the injuries are reported during training and not during actual game play.

The most common area of the body for injury in the sport was the lower extremities. Knee injuries made up 36 percent of all injuries with total lower extremity injuries accounting for half of all injuries. Sprains or muscle strains were the most common injury over any part of the body and accounted for 40 percent of reported injuries.

Contusions were the next most common type of injury, accounting for 25 percent of reports. Fractures, concussions and dislocations rounded out the list of injuries at smaller numbers. According to a report published by the NIH, cervical spine injuries were more common during play before the 1980s, but rule changes have made these injuries less likely. Catastrophic injuries are not impossible in the sport, however, and do still occur from time to time.

The NIH points out that injuries are more likely in older athletes and that the chance of injuries is reduced on teams that hire coaches and assistant coaches with more experience. More experienced coaches tend to be able to identify issues before they become injuries; they also know how to train players and avoid pushing players into injury-causing action, especially in younger leagues and school play.

While safety equipment, experienced coaching and smart playing decisions can reduce the chances of injuries, football is a full-contact sport. Injuries will still happen sometimes. If someone is injured in an incident that might have been caused by the fault or negligence of a coach or other person, then the individual might have a case for seeking compensation for damages.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, "Common American football injuries," accessed Oct. 30, 2015

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