Injury Prevention

Professional football injuries fall into two main categories: preventable (or at least decreasable incidents) and non-preventable. The latter refers to major injury that is inherently a risk of the profession such as helmet to knee contact, broken bones, etc. These are a result of major trauma during the course of play.  While these injuries may be decreased with proper conditioning, and the recovery shortened with appropriate treatment, they are nevertheless the inevitable result of collisions on the field.

The former group of more preventable injuries involves those that arise from the cumulative trauma of overuse/under-conditioning (strains, sprains, back pain, etc). While often a player may miss only a few games a season because of such injuries, there is a strong likelihood of the accumulation of such injuries, shortening the career of a player and affecting his health in retirement. By addressing these adequately, the team is sending the message to the player that his health is not only important now but also after his playing career is over.

Factors contributing to preventable injuries include:

  1.  
    1. Decreased endurance
    2. Areas of weakness overlooked in training
    3. Decreased flexibility
    4. Lack of mental focus
    5. Poor biomechanical habits used on and off the field

Dr. Ping's prevention program addresses the elimination of the above risk factors.

Treatment of InjuryRehabilitation after injury is multifaceted, and decision-making is highly individualized.  However, Dr. Ping has identified key principles that guide the athlete's rehabilitation process. 

  1.  
    1. Physiological stress dependence of healing tissue.

Early appropriate activity (either tensile or contractile or both) enhances the quality of tissue repair.

            2.  Areas not involved should be maintained with vigorous exercise.      

                        This accomplishes the following:

  1.  
    1. Decrease of muscle atrophy
    2. Increase of blood flow for healing   
    3. Maintains athlete's psychological edge—a positive attitude and belief in full recovery reduces the likelihood of psychological barriers to successful rehabilitation
    4. Decrease in anxiety
    5. Sends message to athlete that this is a temporary situation and full recovery is expected

General Phases of Rehabilitation

  1.  
    1. Protection
    2. ROM
    3. Strength/endurance
    4. Power/explosive movements
    5. Position specific training
  • Protection
  • ROM
  • Strength/endurance
  • Power/explosive movements
  • Position specific training
  • Throughout the above process, alternative medical treatment is available to stimulate the natural healing process and shorten recovery time.