Being active in sports as a teen has many upsides. In addition to the obvious physical benefits such as increased cardiovascular health, and improved strength, flexibility, and coordination, sports offer the advantages of learning to work as part of a team, successfully juggle academic and athletic commitments and experience numerous leadership, educational and social opportunities.
But along with participating in high school and extra-curricular sports activities come teen sports injuries, and while some sports are undeniably more dangerous than others, all sports have the potential for players to get hurt. Teen sports injuries can lead to loss of participation time in their sport, and even result in classroom absences.
The most common teen sports injuries seen in emergency rooms nationwide are sprains, strains, concussions, and fractures. These are acute injuries where something is obviously wrong.
However, many teen athletes suffer from overuse injuries — damage to a bone, muscle, ligament, or tendon caused by repetitive movement. Because these injuries are more subtle and occur over time, players usually “play through the pain,” but not at their optimal level.
What Can Be Done?
Along with ensuring that your teen athlete is “playing smart” by being properly conditioned and using the correct safety equipment even at practices, one of the best strategies for limiting, and even preventing, teen sports injuries, is regular chiropractic. While a common tool used by adult athletes, many parents don’t consider seeking chiropractic for their teen athletes, because they are “still growing.” This is exactly why chiropractic is important!
Injuries sustained while the skeletal system is still developing, particularly if in the growth plate, can lead to ongoing pain as an adult and make future sports and other physical activities less likely.
A chiropractor performing regular adjustments can identify structural misalignments that might be contributing to pain during activity or leading to player injury. Making sure everything is properly aligned prior to engaging in sports can reduce the likelihood of injury, pain, and inflammation, and optimize athletic performance.
If your teen athlete has already been injured, a chiropractor can assist in treating the pain from the injury and ensure proper healing. By recommending specific exercises and stretches designed to increase strength and flexibility, a chiropractor can speed recovery and get your player back in the game.
Your teen sports enthusiast needs every tool available to be the best athlete he or she can be. Give Dynamic Sports Medicine in Austin, Texas a call to see how chiropractic care can keep your player a healthy participant in their sport of choice.
BASELINE CONCUSSION TESTING: We recommend baseline concussion testing once a year. Call our office for more details about how to get your teen athlete’s baseline concussion test completed prior to starting sports this year.