Common Adolescent Sports Injuries and Chiropractic Treatment
As a parent, it’s natural to be concerned about the health and well-being of your child, especially when it comes to sports. Adolescent sports injuries are a common occurrence, and it’s important to be aware of the most common ones and how they can be treated. Chiropractic care is an effective treatment method after an adolescent sports injury to restore strength, range of motion and mobility. Chiropractic can help an athlete regain their prior performance level and reduce the risk of further injury.
Chiropractic treatment is a natural, non-invasive method of improving the function of the body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, muscles, and joints. We’re experts at understanding proper body mechanics. Most professional sports teams have chiropractors available on their staff to take care of their players. If function and performance can be restored through natural methods such as chiropractic care or physical therapy, it is usually preferred over surgical and pharmaceutical solutions.
Some of the most common sports injuries that adolescents may experience are:
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains are the most common sports injuries, particularly in the ankles and knees. A sprain is an injury to the ligaments, which are the tough bands of tissue that connect bones to each other, while a strain is an injury to the muscles or tendons. Both sprains and strains can be caused by overuse, improper technique, or a sudden impact or twist.
Most sprains and strains are treated with cold therapy and the rest of the injured area.
Fractures, or broken bones, can occur in any part of the body and are usually caused by a direct blow or excessive force. In adolescents, the most common bones to fracture are the wrist, arm, and leg bones.
Fractures and bone breaks should be treated by an orthopedist until healing is complete. Only after and with your doctor’s guidance should you begin therapies to restore strength, mobility, and flexibility.
A dislocation occurs when a joint becomes displaced, causing the bones to move out of their normal position. Dislocations can be caused by a sudden impact or fall, and can occur in any joint, but are most common in the shoulder, elbow, and finger joints.
If an athlete suspects they have dislocated a joint they should go to the nearest emergency medical facility. Attempting to “pop” the joint back in place yourself can lead to tissue, nerve, and blood vessel damage.
Overuse injuries, also known as repetitive stress injuries, occur when a particular body part is used excessively over time, leading to strain and damage. These types of injuries are particularly common in adolescent athletes who may be participating in a single sport year-round or practicing for long periods of time without adequate rest.
Some common overuse injuries in adolescents include tendonitis and Sever’s disease. Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons, which are the thick cords of tissue that attach muscles to bones. Sever’s disease is a type of heel pain that occurs in growing children due to the strain on the growth plate in the heel.
Overuse injuries have skyrocketed in adolescents in the past decade or so. Young athletes are training like never before and in too many cases they are overtraining. Some well-meaning parents, eager to help their children succeed, are enrolling their athletes in extra training sessions and/or private lessons outside of their general athletic program. This can lead to even greater stress on the body and a higher risk of overuse injury. I have adolescent patients who practice five days a week and play games on both Saturdays and Sundays. Some of these kids even play for multiple teams and play multiple sports. While it keeps them busy and out of trouble it can lead to overuse injuries. At that level of training, extra care is needed, like a pro athlete, to monitor the musculoskeletal system and prevent injuries.
When to See a Chiropractor for Adolescent Sports Injuries
For sprains and strains, overuse injuries or just to improve athletic performance a chiropractor can be your first stop. When it comes to broken bones or dislocations your first stop should be either an orthopedic doctor or an emergency room. Those types of injuries can often be more complex and require intervention or procedures a chiropractor cannot provide.
The best time for an adolescent athlete to see a chiropractor is before injuries occur. Sports chiropractic specifically focuses on the athlete’s need for greater strength and mobility. By improving those areas based on the specific boy mechanics required by a sport the risk of injury is reduced and greater athletic performance is achieved.
In the unfortunate event that a sports injury does occur, chiropractic treatment can help to reduce pain and swelling in the affected area, speed healing, and improve mobility during the rehabilitation phase through alignment, adjustment, and corrective exercise. A good chiropractor will work closely with your orthopedic doctor or physical therapist to make sure we are working together for the best outcome for our patient.
In a perfect world, prevention is key when it comes to adolescent sports injuries. Practicing a proper warm-up routine before sports activity is integral to injury prevention as well as practicing proper athletic techniques and wearing appropriate protective gear. To reduce the risk of adolescent sports injury a regular chiropractic care program is recommended for every athlete.
If your child does experience a sports injury, it’s important to seek proper treatment as soon as possible. Chiropractic treatment can be an effective and natural option for managing and recovering from sports injuries in adolescents.
Dr. William McKenna
Dr.William McKenna has been a Chiropractor for over 20 years in Westchester and Dutchess County, helping his patients to achieve greater health and live more active lifestyles. He is the founder of McKenna Family Chiropractic located in Pelham, NY, and Dutchess Braincore Therapy and Wellness Center located in Hopewell Junction, NY. He graduated from Life University in 1999 and has been advocating for better health, naturally, since. Dr. Will believes a smile is the first step in healing and building valued relationships with his patients. Book Appointment
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