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Young Athletes and Injury Prevention

Young Athletes and Injury Prevention

The fall sports season has begun. Children and adolescents have begun to practice and play games. Football, cheer-leading,Bell West Chiropractic soccer, volleyball, cross country for boys and girls are in full swing. Participating in team and individual sports can have many benefits and be important in the development of children into young adults. It is important to teach the child to prepare properly for athletic activity to improve fitness and prevent injury.

The obvious consideration for prevention of injuries in children is they are not adult athletes. There is a great variety in size, physical maturity and coordination within the same age groups. Children are still actively growing and this can make them more susceptible to overuse injuries. Active growth plates may complicate a sprain injury and require further evaluation.

Pre-participation evaluation is essential to determine if the child is healthy enough to participate in the chosen sport or activity. This is often a requirement for team participation. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate spine and joint function and can advise on exercise, nutrition, injury prevention and treatment. Chiropractors can evaluate dysfunction and help correct it to improve performance and reduce injury.

Parents and coaches should emphasize best effort, teamwork and sportsmanship as the goal without the pressure to win at all costs. Injury prevention includes proper fitness, nutrition and hydration. Risk is reduced with teaching the rules of the game and proper technique. Proper fitting equipment, shoes, uniforms and protective pads help reduce exposure to injury.

Recognize when a possible injury has occurred. Do not allow young athletes to practice or play in pain or if they are tired or over heated. Allow for adequate rest, recovery and hydration. Watch for a change in posture, gait or stride, even if the player has not openly complained. Do not return an injured player to activity until cleared. Injuries are categorized as acute and overuse. Acute injuries include strains, bruises, and fractures. Overuse injuries may be more likely to affect growth plates or tendon ligament attachments. The availability of medical care and or trainers on the side line is helpful. Suspected fracture head injury or significant cuts or bleeding may require a trip to the emergency room. If necessary, consult with your primary care, pediatrician or chiropractor.

Sports can be an important part of growing up. Competition, teamwork and effort to be their best have many benefits to young athletes. Prevention of injury also takes teamwork between athlete, parent coach and doctor. Use these ideas to help your young athlete be, healthy, happy and competing to be their best. Take the right steps to prevent injuries before they happen.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Bret Wilson

Dr. Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website www.bellwestchiro.com.  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.  http://www.acatoday.org/Find-a-Doctor

Another blog by Dr Wilson on this topic:
Read more on this topic:
Prevention of Injury In Young Athletes
Guide for Safety in Young Athletes
Injury Prevention Tip Sheet

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