28 Aug Back to School, Back to Sports: 5 Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries
School has begun again. That means so has the fun and excitement of kids’ athletics. Unfortunately, for many families that also means dealing with sports injuries.
More sports injuries happen in fall than any other season. Of course, football players top the list of injury-prone athletes. Surprisingly, second on fall’s injury list are cheerleaders. (This is most likely not a surprise to cheerleaders or their parents!) But whether it’s football, cheer, soccer, lacrosse, or any other sport, you want to protect your kids from injury.
Protecting Your Kids From Fall Sports Injuries
As a parent, your top priority is taking care of your kids. When it comes to sports, taking good care of the young athletes in your family can be a challenge. Here are 5 tips for avoiding and caring for kids’ sports injuries.
1. Play Like You Mean it
Studies show that players who play harder have fewer injuries. Many injuries happen when players hesitate or hold back. Our bodies were not designed to operate well in a state of uncertainty or indecision. Encourage your young athletes to give their best at all times. It will not only make them better players but will help them protect their bodies as well.
2. Be Coachable
Playing hard does not mean that kids should be out of control. One of the best protective devices your children have is their coach. Encourage your kids to listen and follow their coaches’ expert advice. In order to really play or perform with confidence, athletes need to know where they are going. So being coachable is the first step in learning to give your best.
3. Hydration is Key
In the season opener, two of our local High School football teams squared off in front of a sold-out crowd last week. I listened online to hear the announcers bemoan the fact that by the middle of the third quarter, 13 players had gone out of the game with muscle cramps or related injuries.
One commentator observed that in past years, players commonly carried gallon jugs of water to class and practice. This year, he had not seen that happen. The result was that the players were not as ready for the big game as they thought.
The problem was that players simply were not sufficiently hydrated. It was a hot night, and the week before had been unseasonably cool, said announcers. Therefore, kids had been lax about getting the necessary extra water in their systems. The results were predictable and painful. So in addition to good conditioning, parents need to make sure their athletes stay hydrated.
4. Conditioning is King
The NFL player’s union recently negotiated a reduction in the number of practice sessions required each week. This was designed to allow players more time to recover for game day. Unfortunately, the result was a dramatic increase in injury in the early weeks of the season. Why? A lack of conditioning.
Athletes who are in good overall condition simply do not get as many injuries. In addition, teams whose athletes are in better condition tend to win more games. So teach your athletes that conditioning is king.
If your kids do not exercise outside of practice, get them involved in some kind individual conditioning. If there are extra conditioning practices, do not let them miss. Set up rewards for extra running or workouts, and for giving their all during conditioning times at practice. You’ll set your young athletes up for success and protect them from injury as well.
5. Get Regular Chiropractic Care
Every member of the family should visit a professional chiropractor at least twice a year. If your student-athlete has not been examined this fall, schedule an appointment now. Maintaining healthy spinal alignment can help avoid injury.
The center of our health, the spinal column is a complex system of bones, discs, and nerves. Misalignment in the spine can cause an imbalance in our movements, and make us more prone to injury. The best way to assure your kids have a well-aligned spinal column is through regular chiropractic exams.
Not only can it help us avoid injury, but it can help us heal faster as well. Kids who have healthy spines heal faster from all kinds of injuries. Better circulation, nerve response, and flexibility make recovery quicker and more complete.
If your child is injured, have them examined by a chiropractor. For many sports injuries, gentle, holistic chiropractic care can be a better option than traditional treatment. Certain injuries, such as broken bones or torn ligaments, certainly need traditional treatments.
However, when these injuries do occur, it is important to have your child’s spine examined as well. Collisions and falls often cause spinal injuries that are not diagnosed. These injuries can cause greater problems in the future if left untreated.
If you have young athletes in the family, please contact us today. At Travis Chiropractic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we are here to help you keep your family in total health. Call us at 918-224-2225 for a free consultation. Through natural, drug-free chiropractic care, we can help you protect your kids from sports injuries and care for your whole family in this crucial season.
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