Sports are one of the most common ways we injure ourselves, which should come as no great surprise. All of the physical exertion and contact is bound to have some negative effects on our bodies, but that’s a risk we’re willing to take for victory. While it’s easy to injure yourself in pretty much any sport, the GAA tends to be a bit more brutal than most sports. For that reason, we’re going to look at some of the most common injuries in Gaelic football.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of, if not the most, commonly injured body part in Gaelic football, not counting small cuts and bruises. Located in the knee, this ligament is usually injured as a result of a sudden twist or fall. Recovery time for this injury can be up to a year, making it one of the most dreaded injuries out there. Colm Spillane and Séan Finn are two up-and-comers who had their careers put on hold as a result of such an injury earlier this year.
Dislocated shoulders are a relatively common injury across various contact sports, but they’re more common in the likes of Gaelic football than your standard, run of the mill football. This is because of the fact that we use our hands in Gaelic football. Our shoulders are far more likely to be dislocated when our arms are outstretched, which is why this injury is so common. Again, it usually occurs as a result of falling at a bad angle.
This entry may be just as common in other sports as it is in Gaelic football, but the fact that it is more common does not mean it is less serious. Gaelic football is very demanding physically, so it’s crucial to take as much care as possible with concussions. There may be a temptation to try and shake the injury off and keep playing, but concussions can lead to serious problems if not treated quickly.
Overuse injuries are, as the name suggests, a result of repeating the same behaviour over and over. This repetition gradually wears down our body parts while also making them stiffer and more rigid, which creates the perfect environment for injury. Swelling around the knees and ankles are a common form of overuse injury, as are problems such as shin splints. The best way to prevent overuse injuries is to shake up your routine a little bit, and make sure you’re getting exercise in other ways, while also ensuring you have enough rest.
Injuries are an inevitable part of sport, but that doesn’t mean we should treat them flippantly. While you will at some point sustain an injury, there are always steps you can take to prevent them as well. So do as much as you can before the injury occurs, and at least then you’ll have the best shot at recovering quickly and getting back in the game.