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American Football Injury Prevention

American football is becoming more and more prevalent in the UK now, due partly to the NFL being held at Wembley Stadium and as a result of this more and more people are starting to play the game as well as enjoying as a spectator. One search on YouTube will show you a compilation of some pretty brutal tackles and American Football can certainly be hard on the body. Taking care of injuries is important but the best defence is a good offence and not letting injuries occur in the first place. The first American Football game to be played at Wembley was in 1952 when the Fuerstenfeldbruck Eagles beat the Burtonwood Bullets 27 points to 6. Then in 1983 the first NFL game was played between the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Cardinals and since then Wembley has enjoyed the NFL on a fairly regular basis. More and more universities are now offering American Football as a sport on campus, leading to more people getting involved in playing and therefore possibly injuring themselves. As American Football is a contact sport, injuries are not uncommon, and knee injuries are among the most prevalent for those participating. Cartilage tears and anterior cruciate ligament problems are fairly common as are other leg issues such as hamstring tears and ankle sprains. Shoulder injuries are also fairly common due to the impact of tackling as well as being tackled and broken collarbones and separated shoulders are among the most common injuries suffered.   Warm ups and cool downs are crucial to preventing injury, letting the muscles warm up so that they are ready for the strain that is placed upon them during training or a competitive game. The right equipment is also an absolute must and pads, helmets and mouthguards have to fit properly in order to provide the right protection and decrease the risk of injury. Correct technique in both receiving and giving a tackle can reduce instances of injury such as keeping the head, eyes and chin up so you can see what you're tackling and to prevent injury. A generally healthy lifestyle consisting of the right amount of sleep, good nutrition, and enough water will help keep your body injury free while on the field. If you are injured, make sure you are fully healed before you start playing again. Half healed injuries will only get re-injured, delaying your recovery time and therefore taking longer to get back to 100% fitness and health.