When it comes to sports and physical exercise there is always a danger of injury, especially at the highest level, where professionals push their bodies to the limit in the name of success. In such a technical game the human body is forced to move in an unnatural way and the risk of dangerous tackles is very high.
Having the correct medical equipment on hand such as that provided by Steroplast Healthcare and trained first aiders is essential at any level of the sport. Providing medical solutions such as the previously mentioned could be the difference when it comes to the overall severity of the injury.
So why is football considered so dangerous? Many experts have debated the reasons. Some argue that the financial implications and threat of relegation, paired with the low scoring nature of the game means that players play in a tougher, more committed manner, meaning that the risk of dangerous tackles, is higher.
According to a study by Nick Morgan from the Lucozade Sports Science Academy, the current injury rate per 1000 hours of playing football is 35.3. Whilst this number may sound low in comparison to Rugby where the number of injuries per 1000 hours is 69 (making it the most dangerous team sport), the risk is still very real.
Of those areas studied, Morgan found that the legs take the brunt of the injuries, 77% in fact, with 21% of those to the knee and 18% to the ankle. “Changing direction constantly strains your joints and ligaments, but you’re far less likely to get injured,” said Morgan.
When you add these findings to all of the corners, free-kicks and the modern style of the game, meaning that more crosses are delivered, it is inevitable that there are going to be more aerial duels too. In these instances the possibility of a clash of heads is significantly raised and there can also be issues with raised elbows as the players jostle for position.
The rules of the games allow the referee to let play proceed whilst a player is injured as long as it is not a head injury. In these cases the game is stopped immediately and trained first aiders or medical professionals are allowed to enter the game. The necessity for medical professionals to have the correct equipment in their bags is essential as on field treatment of injuries can be of the utmost importance.
When a player is injured and the whistle goes, trained medical professional are permitted entry to the field of play, both sides and the medic are then advised to follow the SALTAPS procedure as recommended by the governing body FIFA. SALTAPS stands for:
Stop – Stop play immediately and leave the area around the player as clear as possible for medical assistance.
Ask – If the player is conscious ask them what happened or where they feel pain, if they are unable to answer ask a player who saw the incident or was in close proximity.
Look – Look at the injured part of the body for bleeding, swelling, bruising or deformity.
Touch – Touch the injured site if the player allows you too and gently try to locate the exact are of the pain.
Active Movement – Can the player move the limb or affected area on their own, if so how far can they move it and what level of pain are the feeling.
Passive Movement – If active movement is not possible they it may be required that a professional moves the limb gently to the point where pain kicks in, the less pain free movement the more severe the injury.
Stand up – If the player is able to stand and indicates that they can play on then it is important that they are monitored regularly and removed from the game if the injury gets worse.