Youth sports is a very popular trend in the United States, and across the globe. Millions of children and teens participate in some sort of sport, contact or otherwise. With any type of physical activity, injury is always a concern. While this concern is something to take seriously, it is good for children mentally and physically to be exposed to physical activity, as well as a team atmosphere. When we think of sports injuries, or pain due to sports, we often only think of an older, seasoned player. A subject that is grounds for heated debate as of recently, is youth sports injuries, and how they impact a young person as they grow. A child, while better able to bounce back from an injury, is just as likely to suffer lifelong pain from a sports related injury. At Family and Sport Chiropractic, we recommend regular adjustments for all athletes, youth or otherwise. Early preventive chiropractic is a great way to reduce the likelihood of an injury to your child.
Some things every parent should know about chiropractic treatment for their child:
- Almost all professional sports teams use chiropractic as a regular regimen. According to the professional Football Chiropractic Society, 34 chiropractors treat the 32 teams im the NFL and “Conservatively give 16,320 to 27,200 adjustments to the players in 120 days. Often times, a chiropractor is called to treat the injury before a MD is called to treat.
- Chiropractic care helps with flexibility and strength. Flexibility and strength are needed to prevent injuries, plain and simple! The lower leg, ankle and foot are the most commonly injured body parts amongst athletes. These injuries are usually obtained by sudden movements, such as changing directions abruptly, or when tackling/being tackled. Increased flexibility means increased range of motion, making it harder to injure your body.
- Chiropractic is designed to prevent injuries from occurring, as well as treating an injury. The better aligned your body is, the less likely an injury will occur. Also, it is far easier to keep the body aligned than it is to teach it to be in the correct position after an injury has already occurred.
What are the most common sports injuries?
- Acute Injuries: Typically arise from collision with an object, or another player. Common acute injuries include fractures, bruises, sprains and strains. Football, basketball, soccer and volleyball players are prone to these injuries.
- Overuse Injuries: It is very possible for a young athletes to have an injury from the overuse of the body. Most commonly is shoulder injuries from baseball players, especially pitchers. Athletes who are exposed to high impact, such as runners, who expose their bones and joints to hard surfaces such as pavement, are more likely to obtain stress fractures. Practice and games combined lead to these injuries. Overuse injuries affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and growth plates. Regular chiropractic care keeps young players bodies in perfect alignment, and limbers up muscles and tendons to prevent these injuries BEFORE they become an ongoing problem.
- Catastrophic Injuries: These injuries are the scariest, and hardest to recover from. Even with training, high tech equipment and high supervision, accidents happen. Catastrophic injuries can lead to head and neck trauma, damage to the brain and spinal cord, paralysis, and loss of motor skills. Many new rules and regulations have been put in place on youth, collegiate and pro levels to prevent these injuries from happening.
- Concussion: A concussion is a mild brain injury caused by a hit to the head or body, which caused the brain to back and forth rapidly in the skull. They are most common in contact sports, such as football, hockey, wrestling, soccer, cheerleading and gymnastics.
- Growth Plate Injuries: A growth plate is an area of developing cartilage tissue near the ends of long bones. Growth plates are the last portion of the bone to harden, and remain vulnerable to injury in children. Injury to these plates can cause disruption of bone growth and bone deformity. These injuries usually happen in high contact sports.
Regular chiropractic care cannot prevent all injuries from happening, but it drastically reduces the chance of them happening, and minimizes recovery time.
As a parent, I know how scary it can be to see your child laying there in pain during a sporting event. I myself have 5 children, all in sports (some more coordinated than the others haha!). They are all treated by Dr. Karim at Family and Sport Chiropractic. Caring for sports injuries, and preventing them from happening in the first place is something we are very passionate about. We love being a part of a young athlete’s performance, and take this responsibility seriously.