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What, Exactly, Is FOOSH?

By Donna Stark

I have a friend that was talking about her FOOSH injury and at first, I thought she got hurt playing that tabletop game you can find in most arcades and bowling alleys. You know what I am talking about, don't you? The game that has figures of soccer players attached to metal rods which you spin in order to move a plastic ball down the pretend field. Well, after rolling her eyes at my ignorance, she explained her injury in more detail and I realized I couldn't have been more wrong. FOOSH injuries have nothing to do with those plastic soccer players, although many soccer players (and others) do end up with FOOSH injuries. So what exactly are they?

Learning About FOOSH

FOOSH stands for "falling on an outstretched hand." Essentially, they are the injuries that occur when we try to break a fall. They are some of the most common reasons for injuries to our hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and even collarbones (just ask my friend about that one). And although FOOSH doesn't describe the actual injury itself, it does describe how it happened, and that can be important to know for treatment.

FOOSH Injuries

Some FOOSH injuries are on the minor side, causing only temporary discomfort and soreness. These are the injuries that could get you out of making dinner for the night, but probably not much more. Other FOOSH injuries can be more serious than that and may actually require immediate medical attention. Let's take a look at some of those below.

  • Strains/sprains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Rotator cuff tears

Reducing the Risk of FOOSH

FOOSH injuries can happen at any time. Day or night, walking or running, on or off the field  there really is no rhyme or reason to them, so it's important to be as proactive as you can to reduce the risk of having them occur in the first place. Here are some suggestions on how to do so.  

  • Wear appropriate gear, such as wrist guard and elbow pads
  • Know your physical limits
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Watch your footing while walking
  • Wear appropriate footwear
  • Keep up with your vision checks
  • Install grab bars or railings in your home
  • Remove clutter from floors

Foosball Is Fun, FOOSH Injuries Are Not

Making sure your environment is safe and increasing your physical capabilities (strength and balance) is key to reducing your risk of a FOOSH injury, so take the time and make any necessary changes right away. It's the easiest way to keep the fun in your life!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shreveport, La. 

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