As fall sports season hits full swing, doctors have some tips for avoiding injury.
For many of us, now that summer is ending and schools are back in session, our attention has turned to fall sports. Of course, some young athletes have been practicing and training throughout most of the summer, but others are just now jumping fully into this season’s sports and activities. It’s an exciting time to be a young athlete. And to be their supportive families/fans.
Although cheering on your favorite player or team is fun, it is also important for parents and guardians to work with coaches and trainers to keep all young athletes healthy. That means training properly and making sure to quickly address any physical issues that might arise.
Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has formed great local partnerships with East Central, Lawrenceburg and South Dearborn high schools in southeastern Indiana. “We not only provide fully trained sideline care for teams, but we also provide at-the-school professional trainers to help athletes stay in – or get back in -- the game,” said Dr. David Argo, Beacon orthopaedic surgeon. Knowing the students, their coaches and their athletic routines creates a knowledgeable line of defense against injury and a knowledgeable support, if injuries do occur.
Of course, avoiding getting hurt is always preferable, but if injuries or strains do happen, quickly getting the student athlete to a trained professional is important. Having that knowledgeable person readily accessible gets the student on the road to recovery. It also trains that youngster for an active – and healthier – adult life. What we learn in our youth, we often carry with us into adulthood. So learning to stay active and avoid injury (or how to treat an injury if it occurs) are great life lessons!
Beacon encourages all parents to be aware of their child’s involvement and training. “I see young athletes in my office every week who suffer from overuse injuries,” Dr. Argo continued. Participating in sports is a wonderful and fun thing for young people. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful, especially if done improperly. That can affect the long-lasting health and well-being of children and teens.
For example, one troubling thing the professionals at Beacon have seen in local youngsters is muscle imbalance from repetitive motion. It can cause certain muscles to be well-developed, while others are very weak due to the lack of cross-training. It is why the professionals always encourage kids to be involved in a variety of activities and to rest between seasons. A variety of activities will allow the youth to prevent overuse injuries and let them enjoy their sports more thoroughly. And sitting out for a period of time to rest allows the body to recuperate.
Requiring that student athletes get a physical is a way schools help parents keep these kids on the road to sustained good health. Knowing that they start off the season at their healthiest is an important watermark, but making sure that those student athletes are sufficiently rested and well-cared-for throughout the season (especially when experiencing an injury or weakness) is a commitment Beacon makes to the kids, their parents and the community.
So parents please be aware that sometimes students are reluctant to ask for help – for fear of losing their starting position or their place in the lineup. Or they don’t want to miss playing with their friends and the “big game.” It is imperative that we encourage young people to be honest about symptoms with their parents, coaches and trainers. This does not make that athlete weak. In fact, this is a mature way to maintain optimal health for this season and for a lifetime.
If you have concerns, click here to schedule an appointment or call 513-354-3700.