Now that we’re comfortably back into the school routine, life requires a little more prep-work. Gone are summer’s lazy, spontaneous days and instead it’s packing lunches, filling out forms, sports physicals, and practice schedules. If you have a student-athlete of any age, consider adding a family chiropractor to your provider team. Dr. Chani Henderson of Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic, herself an avid athlete, can help before, during, and after the busy sports season.
A competitive gymnast for many years, Dr. Henderson still enjoys time on the water and healthful exercise. She knows too that injuries sustained as kids can come back in the aches and pains of adulthood. With proper care, sports can be a fun, lifelong way to get much-needed exercise and make friends for life.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains that “Every year, millions of teenagers participate in high school sports…When a sports injury occurs, it is important to quickly seek proper treatment. To ensure the best possible recovery, athletes, coaches, and parents must follow safe guidelines for returning to the game.”
“Teenage athletes are injured at about the same rate as professional athletes, but injuries that affect high school athletes are often different from those that affect adult athletes,” they continue. “This is largely because high school athletes are often still growing…Injuries among young athletes fall into two basic categories: overuse injuries and acute injuries. Both types include injuries to the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) and bones.”
Urgent care doctors say they see similar injuries across the spectrum of student-athletes. These include:
- Baseball: Pitcher’s elbow, sprains, contusions, ligament sprains and muscle sprains
- Basketball: Strains, sprains, knee injuries and foot and ankle injuries
- Cheerleading: Elbow and wrist injuries, fractures, muscle strains, ligament sprains and concussions
- Dance: Elbow and wrist injuries, lower back injuries, Achilles tendon injuries and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries
- Field Hockey: Concussions and head and neck injuries
- Football: Concussions, ligament sprains and fractures
- Ice Hockey: Concussions and head and neck injuries
- Lacrosse: Knee sprains, low back pain, concussions, head and face contusions, ankle sprains and wrist fractures
- Soccer: Concussions, ligament sprains, fractures and ACL sprains
- Softball: Pitcher’s elbow, sprains, contusions, ligament sprains and muscle strains
- Tennis: Ankle sprains, patellar tendonitis, lumbar stress fracture and tennis elbow
- Track & Field: Fractures, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, contusions, hamstring strains, shin splints and patella tendonitis
Dr. Henderson encourages athletes to listen to their bodies. “If you think you have an injury that is causing your performance to suffer, get in contact with us and we will help you through the process by diagnosing the pain and providing a treatment plan to promote your return to pain-free activity,” she says. These include sprains, strains, and tendinosis, a repetitive motion issue.
Chiropractic Care to Prevent Sports Injury
And chiropractic care may even be able to help prevent injury. “If hips are misaligned or you have other issues with your back or joints, you may be compensating for that with your movement,” explains Henderson. “Sometimes that compensation can actually cause other injuries throughout your body. Routine body maintenance through chiropractic care will help keep your body in working order making it less likely for injuries to occur.”
All kids are athletes, in some form or other. They run, play, climb, and tirelessly explore the world around them. And this sometimes leads to accidents. But the American Chiropractic Association reports that “For every 100 children you see, at least three of them have probably visited a doctor of chiropractic at least once…The numbers are rising. In 2000, a survey found that there were about 30 million pediatric visits to chiropractors; by 2009, that figure had more than doubled, to 68 million. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ most recent practice analysis, issued in 2010, found that about 17 percent of chiropractic patients were under age 18.”
Whatever sport your kids play—or eagerly try out for—a parent’s role is the same: love, support, encouragement, Band-Aid’s, water bottles, and healthy snacks. Make sure you’ve signed on the dotted line, brought all the right equipment, and entered game days into your calendar.
In between innings, quarters, matches, or meets, schedule a visit with Dr. Henderson to keep your athletes on their toes and at peak performance all season long. During this initial visit, you’ll sit down for an informal discussion about concerns, goals, and possible treatment options. Getting to know each other makes the process less stressful and builds long-term rapport. Book a consultation by calling (360) 254-0400.