Injuries can occur in family football

Nov. 24, 2011 at 1:58 AM
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MAYWOOD, Ill., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A pick-up family football game can help burn off the 800-to-3,000 calories in a typical Thanksgiving meal, but a U.S. doctor warns injuries can occur.

"Getting outside and being active is a great way to burn off extra calories from eating too much pumpkin pie, but it also can lead to injuries," Dr. Pietro Tonino, director of Loyola University Health System's sports medicine program, said in a statement.

Though there is nothing like a little family competition, injuries can occur.

"Be sure to warm-up those muscles before hitting the football field and take it easy," Tonino said. "Remember, this isn't the Super Bowl."

Tonino said symptoms to look out for in the family backyard field include:

-- Sprain: Joints are supported by ligaments and these bands of connective tissue connect one bone to another. A sprain happens when a ligament has been stretched or torn. Most sprains heal using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If the sprain needs additional medical attention contact a doctor.

-- Contusions: A bruise caused by a blow to a muscle, tendon or ligament, which occurs when blood pools around an injury. They can be treated with the RICE method. If symptoms persist contact a doctor.

-- Stress Fractures: A bone is stressed by overuse and tiny breaks in the bone can occur. Symptoms may be pain and swelling in the region of the fracture. The bones of the lower leg and foot are prone to stress fractures. See a doctor.

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