According to a survey, football is the most popular sport in the world. Football fans make up more than half of the world’s population, and this number continues to increase every year. Football also involves a lot of running, kicking, and defense techniques as scores are based on a player’s ability to bring the ball beyond the goal line.
Because of the nature of the sport, it’s common to see football players wear knee pads. These are gears designed to protect the players’ knees from impact. Knee pads are also necessary for the workplace and other recreational activities besides football, such as cycling and horseback riding.
Aside from reading a good article on the best knee pads to know how these safety gears function, here are some reasons why knee pads are essential to every football player during every gameplay:
- Reduce Risks Of Injuries
The rules of football can increase a player’s susceptibility to knee injuries. Every football game involves putting pressure on the knees to effectively shift weight and make quick twists and turns to run from one side of the field to another.
While football players can still do all of these things without a knee pad, ignoring knee pains and twinges can result in long-term injuries and other serious health complications. In fact, regularly playing without a knee pad can become the reason why a player can miss out on several matches due to severe injuries or in worse cases, cut their football career short.
Knee pads are needed in every gameplay because it prevents injuries. Since football players use their knees in every game, they’re at risk of experiencing the following knee injuries:
- Sprained knee: Cruciate and collateral ligaments make up the structure of the knees. However, when any of these ligaments are overstretched, torn, and damaged, football players can suffer from a sprained knee.
Depending on its severity, sprained knees are treated with ice packs to reduce swelling and knee support to apply compression. Complex ligament tears, on the other hand, will require surgery and months of rest.
- Patellofemoral pain: Also known as the runner’s knee, Patellofemoral pain is a common injury among runners but can also affect football players, too. Symptoms of this injury include experiencing extreme pain in the front and around the knee, swelling, and a “popping” sensation whenever the player runs.
Patellofemoral pain occurs when the kneecap is displaced, or the muscles around the thighs are weak.
- Torn cartilage: This is an injury that’s common among football players. Torn cartilage happens when a person makes sudden movements without equally distributing weight in different parts of the body. The knees will receive most of the weight of the body, leading to severe tears.
Treatment options for torn cartilage include surgery, physiotherapy, and meniscus (piece of cartilage responsible for cushioning your thigh bone and shin bone) removal.
- Support Knee Movements
Football players can’t compete in sports if their knees are unhealthy and weak. How can they tackle their opponents if they can’t even run towards them? How can they score points if moving their knees can result in excruciating pain? A knee pad can also support players’ knees, making it easy for them to compete in this sport.
Knee pads consist of different types of foams, carbon fibers, plastics, and gels. The combination of these materials provides optimal knee support and comfort to football players.
These materials also prevent a football player from overextending their knees. This occurs when the knee is forced to perform or function beyond its normal range of motion.
From a straightened position, football players might push their knees to bend too far back in the wrong direction as they’re playing.
With a knee pad, football players won’t have to compromise the condition of their knees just to play the support. Since players don’t have the time to assess whether a particular movement will exhaust their knees, knee pads can provide the necessary support so players can focus on the game.
- Warrant Better Performance
Every football player understands the rules of the sport and the essential techniques to win in every game. This is especially true for experienced or seasoned football players.
This is the reason why experienced football players would always wear knee pads when playing. As this gear protects their knees from different types of injury and provides optimal support, using knee pads will give them peace of mind knowing that they can perform at their best.
Since they’re pain-free from any type of knee injury, they’re confident to run in the field and tackle any player from the opposing team.
Always Prioritize Safety
Football, just like any other type of sport, can provide mental and physical benefits. However, since this is a competitive and physical sport, it’s best if you invest in high-quality knee pads before playing.
Using knee pads will allow you to perform at your best in every gameplay, making it easy for you to learn and master the sport.