The bodies of children and teenagers are still growing, so it’s important that you find a health care professional who has the knowledge and expertise in treating their injuries. When you search for a “chiropractor near me” you also want to pay attention to offices that provide quality, individualized care for your child rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Many parents and coaches are interested in chiropractic care for young athletes because it offers a non-invasive and drug-free approach that works for all ages and body types. If you are interested in a more conservative approach to your young athlete’s injury, then check out a chiropractor who can help.
Understanding How Sports Injuries Affect Growing Bodies
Children and teenagers are more susceptible to getting injured while playing a sport because their bodies are constantly growing and changing. As they go through growth spurts, they may be more likely to get injured while they are adjusting to the changes. Growth spurts can actually cause your child to experience a temporary lack of coordination and motor skills. Additionally, as children grow up, they become less flexible but might try to perform activities that are no longer safe or possible. Sports are a great way for children and teenagers to learn more about coordination, motor skills, healthy habits, and even how to be a team player. However, young athletes must learn to participate in the sports they love safely and properly in order to help avoid injury.
Common Types of Sports Injuries
The two primary categories of sports injuries that affect young athletes are overuse injuries and acute injuries. While acute injuries refer to an injury that occurs suddenly, overuse injuries tend to develop over time with repetitive motions that put excessive stress on the body.
Overuse injuries are the most common type of sports injury in young athletes because children and teenagers are learning how to handle their growing bodies while also how to safely participate in activities they enjoy. Sports and after-school activities continue to demand more time commitments, and that can lead to your young athlete performing the same actions and movements over and over, putting a lot of strain on their growing muscles, tendons, and bones. A few examples of overuse injuries include little league elbow, jumper’s knee, and shin splints. One of the best ways to address overuse injuries at home is to take the appropriate time to rest and recover.
Accidents can happen on and off the field and can result in a sudden, serious injury like a broken bone or concussion. A common, milder example of an acute injury is a sprained ankle. Your young athlete may have jumped up and landed on their foot the wrong way, rolling their ankle and causing pain and swelling. Unfortunately, it is possible to break a bone, especially when participating in more high-impact sports like football. Concussions can also occur and should be taken very seriously. Any blow to the head or spine can really negatively affect a person of any age, so it is best to visit a doctor right away.
Treating and Preventing Sports Injuries in Young Athletes
Overuse injuries tend to require a good bit of rest in order to give those stressed and overworked muscles and tendons time to heal. R.I.C.E. is a common at-home remedy for mild overuse injuries, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Icing the area can help with any swelling, while compression can also help prevent swelling and also provide more stability and support. Elevating the area above your heart helps reduce swelling and that painful, throbbing feeling. Many times, at-home remedies aren’t enough to address overuse injuries, and that’s where a chiropractor can help.
While milder acute injuries may also be treated with R.I.C.E., some injuries like broken bones or a concussion may require much more intervention from a healthcare provider, and even rehabilitation for damaged, sore muscles and tissues. Your chiropractor can help identify stretches and exercises that your young athlete can incorporate into their warm-up and cool-down routines to help with both acute and overuse injuries.
It’s important to know how to pick a good chiropractor because can also talk with young athletes about how to prevent sports injuries in the future. This generally involves practicing stretches and physical therapy exercises with the appropriate posture, form, and technique. Learning the proper technique for sports activities is also key to avoid overuse and damage to bones, muscles, and tendons. At AICA Orthopedics in Conyers, our team of chiropractors, orthopedists, and physical therapists work together to provide individualized, comprehensive care to young athletes from all around town. Visit us to learn more about how we can help your growing young athlete!