As reported by Medical News Today, James R. Andrews, a former president of the American Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), said in May of 2012, the US has experienced a tremendous rise in the number of young people taking up sports. Estimates show 3.5 million children aged 14 and under receive medical treatment for sport-related injuries, while high-school athletes account for another 2 million a year.
These are some pretty high numbers.
At Bofshever Wellness Center, a chiropractic care center that focuses on spine and joint rehabilitation, we’d love it if children never suffered sports-related injuries, especially since we see so many kids in pain, every day.
Hey, we can dream right?
But the truth is, “If you put a child out there on a field with a bunch of other kids competing for a win, someone is bound to get hurt,” Dr. Harley Bofshever, owner and founder of Bofshever Wellness Center, says.
Here are some of the top injuries among young athletes and how you can help your child prevent any serious repercussions of playing their favorite sport.
- Knee injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Swollen muscles
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Back and neck injuries
In almost any sport, the knee joint is going to do a brunt of the work. ACL tears are one of the most common knee injuries we see in kids who play football or other contact sports. Because damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) requires a surgical procedure to fix the tear and comes with long-term effects even after it heals, this is one injury to try and avoid at all costs.
Sprains, strains, and swollen muscles come from misuse or overuse of any one particular muscle group. While this is often an indication that your muscles got a workout for the first time in a while, over time it could mean trouble.
Achilles tendon rupture is when the Achilles tendon tears. The Achilles is the most commonly injured tendon. Rupture can occur while performing actions requiring explosive acceleration, such as pushing off or jumping.
Back and neck injuries, are of course among the most serious of injuries as a spine injury can affect your ability to function for the rest of your life. Most back and neck injuries in child athletes are minor, and usual involve a sprain or strain of some sort. In some cases, however, serious back and/or neck injuries can occur, including:
Scheuermann’s Disease (or juvenile kyphosis) a common cause of back pain in young athletes during puberty that occurs in the mid- as opposed to the lower-back, and leads to a roundness of the back that worsens to a dome shape on bending forwards.
Can we avoid these injuries altogether? Unfortunately not – but we CAN engage our children in prehab, to avoid the need of rehab later on. Here are a few ways to ensure your child athlete’s body is prehabilitated before going out onto the field:
- Work on core strength and stability. A more stable core means better balance and less chances of falling or losing footing.
- Stretch – before and after a workout or game, always!
- Know your limits.
For more advice on how to treat athletic injuries or to make an appointment with Dr. Harley for chiropractic care, visit us today at Bofshever Wellness Center in Coconut Creek.
At Bofshever Wellness Center, we have your back so you can keep moving forward!