Sports Chiropractic for Kids
Organized sports are a fantastic way for children to learn teamwork and leadership, stay physically active and build friendships. If you were a member of a league or school sports team as a kid chances are you have many fond memories of big wins and pizza parties. Sports were fun.
Times have changed and kids’ sports have become increasingly competitive and more demanding. However, a child’s physical development has stayed the same. The intensity of play has increased significantly, and injuries once only seen in high school athletics are becoming more commonplace in younger children.
Increased Risk of Sports Injuries in Children
Most sports are not adapted to the motor skills and size of young bodies. Baseball bats are the same size for a child of ten as for an adult, same with soccer balls and footballs. Children are also less apt to assess risk and are more impulsive when at play than adults.
In a child’s growing musculoskeletal system, tendons and ligaments are stronger and more elastic than the growth plates. When trauma does occur because the growth plate is weaker than the tendon and ligaments that is where the damage is most likely to occur. In adolescents’ bones become denser and less impact resistant and the risk of serious joint injuries increases. Children also have an increased risk of repetitive injuries because they are still growing.
Types of Sports Injuries Commonly Seen in Children
There are two common types of sports injuries seen in children, acute injuries and overuse injuries. Acute injuries involve breaks, sprains, tears, and deep bruising. Overuse injuries are due to repetitive motions breaking down tissue faster than it can rebuild. Here’s a breakdown of the most common pediatric injuries due to sport participation I treat in my practice.
- Sprained ankle (Acute)
- Growth plate fractures (Acute)
- ACL/MCL Sprains (Acute)
- Little Leaguers’ Elbow (Overuse)
- Sever’s Disease/Heel Pain (Overuse)
- Shin Splints (Overuse)
- Osteochondritis Dissecans/Knee Pain (Overuse)
- Spondylolisthesis/Spondylolysis/Back Pain (Overuse)
- Patellar Tendonitis/Knee Pain (Overuse)Prevention and Treatment
Prevention and Treatment
Due to the increase of intensity and training found in adolescent sports, it is more important than ever to closely monitor a child’s physical health, level of fitness and put in place a preventive care plan based on their sport-specific needs.
Chiropractors are experts in knowing how to monitor the musculoskeletal system, where to focus on strengthening the body, and how to treat aches, pains, and injuries. There’s a reason professional sports leagues have teams of Chiropractors on staff.
One of the treatments besides Chiropractic Adjustments that I use in my office is cold laser therapy. Cold laser therapy can help:
- Reduce acute (sudden) or chronic (long-lasting) pain
- Treat inflammation
- Speed up wound healing
- Promote tissue regrowth
- Improve blood circulation in an area of injury
- Open up blood vessels to ease swelling
- Help your immune system create more chemicals that heal tissue
- Build more connective tissue in your knee
- Trigger endorphins, natural hormones that ease pain.
At Dutchess Braincore and Wellness Center I work with many adolescent athletes to help keep them performing their best while also looking out for their health and wellbeing, so they can continue enjoying the athletic activities they love while reducing the risk of injuries that may permanently impact their bodies in the future.
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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