Why Do Football Players Heal Faster Than Us?

In case you missed it, Dwight Freeney, the All-Pro defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts had a very good game during the Superbowl, despite a torn ligament in his right ankle. But wait, he only injured his ankle 2 weeks ago...how is he playing football when my doctor told me that my ankle sprain would sideline me for 3-6 weeks? In short, why do football players heal faster than regular people like you and me? The answer is that they don't heal faster than we do. Ligaments take 3-6 weeks to heal in anyone. Elite athletes just so happen to be in incredible physical shape as well as an ability to tolerate pain that is beyond the average person. Dwight Freeney is a professional football player. He has played countless games in high school, college and the pro's. He has played through pain.
On Sunday you can bet that his ankle was heavily braced with tape and strappings to limit the motion of his injured ankle. He was also most likely injected with a drug called Marcaine which is very similar to the Novacaine used in a dental office. This type of medicine causes a few hours of painless numbness, but it does not repair or heal tendons or ligaments.
Dwight Freeney had a great game. He even sacked New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees in the second quarter. He is not a superhuman. He is a professional athlete with the best medical care at his disposal and he may have made it through the game, but his ankle is not healed. He does not heal faster than you or me. He just knows that Superbowls are once in a lifetime and he can heal in the offseason.
If you sprain your ankle, don't expect to get back to full activity for 3-6 weeks. You will need to ice, elevate and rest your ankle as well as taking anti-inflammatory pills and wearing a brace. But don't worry, if by some chance you need to play in the Superbowl in 2 weeks...we could get you ready.

Committed to your health,

Dr. Craig Conti
Sarasota Foot Care Center

You Might Also Enjoy...

Diabetic Foot Ulcers are Scarier Than Sharks

As a podiatrist, one of the most dangerous and scary conditions I deal with is a diabetic foot ulcer. There are around 30 million Americans with diabetes and every one of them has a 25% chance of developing a foot ulcer in their lifetime. Once you have...

New Running Shoes That Really Work

While I get no financial support from the Hoka shoe company, I wanted to share my personal experience. I recently started wearing the Hoka Bondi 3. These shoes are what I would call a "maximalist" shoe. They are thick, slightly heavy and rugged.

I Broke My Toe

For a healthy guy, I have had more foot conditions that I would care to admit. I always tell myself that is makes me a more empathetic foot doctor, but I promise I am not doing this stuff on purpose.

Gout and Your Feet

As we are finally past the holiday season, I wanted to post an article about gout. This painful condition is always more frequent during the winter season of eating. What is gout, specifically?

Are You Embarrassed by Your Feet?

Feeling embarrassed or ashamed of your feet is very common. According to a study of 500 women in 2008 by the American Podiatric Medical Association, more than 50% of women say their feet...