The numbers are staggering. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.
- More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.
- Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child’s age.
- Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students
- According to the CDC, more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.
Spring sports will be starting soon for your kids. Don’t let them become a CDC statistic. Prior to participating in sports your children should have a functional evaluation. How is their range of motion? How is their posture? Are all the joints in their spine and extremities moving correctly? How is their muscle tone and balance? How quick is the muscle activation response time? These are all good indicators on the state of an athlete’s functional health. A good thing about being young is that if is a problem they usually respond quickly to chiropractic care.
If you missed the pre-season evaluation or you have a child who is still side-lined and suffering from a sports related injury, do not give up. It is never too late.
In December I meet a young teenage athlete who was not able to participate in sports because of lingering back pain for over a year and a half. He injured himself in a baseball game where he was the short stop. He fell over an opponent and twisted as he landed. He had not been able to participate in sports since this injury. During the consult, his mother said to me, “I just want a diagnosis so I know what is wrong.” She had taken her son to multiple physicians without a concrete diagnosis. He had a course of PT without lasting benefit. I did my assessment and found dysfunction, or stuck joints, in his low back, muscle guarding and sciatic nerve entrapment. His mom was relieved on knowing there was something wrong. She was even happier when I was able to provide a mechanical solution to her son’s mechanical problem. The great news is that he able to swing a bat and throw a baseball again without pain! He is looking forward to baseball tryouts in a few weeks.
Not only do we assess athlete’s pre-season function and get our patient’s out of pain and back to sports, the most important service we provide is called Performance Care. The goal of Performance Care is to optimize mechanical function and catch little issues before they become serious ones. All the chiropractors at Performance Health Center get pleasure knowing that we pay a small role in our patient’s success!
Two of our teenage athletes have recently made major accomplishments in their sports:
- Ethan Zimmerman ranked #3 in the U.S. Teen Ninja Competition! (watch the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpV95lym4A8&feature=youtu.be)
- Matt Gastaldo of Natick High School won his weight class at the Division 2 state wrestling meet last month.
I encourage all athletes to have regular chiropractic care during their sports season. Race cars need more maintenance than street cars, and athletes are like race cars. If there is an injury, as long as there is no blood or guts, the faster they get checked and treated with functional chiropractic treatment, the faster the recovery, the faster they get back to sports and the least chance of lasting injury.
There is often a long term detriment from participating in youth sports. It amazes me how many adults I meet who trace their pain complaints back to high school sports. If they had the benefit of a sports minded chiropractor when they were participating in youth sports they might not have ended up in chronic pain.
If you have any questions on what is involved in a pre-sports functional examination, want to optimize your performance, or are side-lined because of injury please call us at 508-655-9008, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org