Chiropractic care is a great way to support your student athlete
Student athletes are some of the most dedicated kiddos out there. They willingly sacrifice part of their summer vacation freedom for sports physicals, returning to practice, and rebuilding strength in the weight room after hours. But even resilient bodies get injured, and damage done in childhood can have a lasting effect as athletes age. Careful management of your child’s fitness and sports activities should include sessions with a chiropractor who is trained in, deeply loves, and has experience with the tremendous allure of sportsmanship. In southwestern Washington, Dr. Chani Henderson of Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic, is a lifelong athlete herself and always on hand to help.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explains that “all sports have a risk of injury. In general, the more contact in a sport, the greater the risk of a traumatic injury. However, most injuries in young athletes are due to overuse. As pediatricians, we advise young athletes to avoid specializing in one sport. It’s best to play a variety of sports to avoid injuries we often see with overuse. Parents can play a big role in helping to prevent common injuries by encouraging their children to play sports that are appropriate for their age, development, and physical abilities.”
AAP statistics show that the most frequent sports injuries among children and teens are sprains (injuries to ligaments), strains (injuries to muscles), growth plate irritation, or stress fractures (injury to bone) caused when stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones, and muscle.
Their doctors note that “in a growing child, point tenderness over a bone should be evaluated further by a medical provider—even if there is minimal swelling or limitation in motion.” They also remind parents that kids should never play or exercise through the pain, take at least one day off per week and one month off per year to let growing bodies recover, and always wear the right protective gear during both practice and competitive play. No exceptions.
If you suspect your child has been injured, reach out to their primary care physician or pediatrician right away. If the injury is severe, call 911 or take them to the emergency room. Your PCP may then recommend working with a sports medicine doctor or someone with specific schooling and a specialty in this type of athlete care. You can also discuss adding a certified athletic trainer, physical therapist, podiatrist, or chiropractor into the healthcare mix.
Vancouver, Washington Sports Chiropractor
A competitive gymnast for nearly ten years, Dr. Henderson understands the toll such athleticism takes on one’s body. But she didn’t slow down after all her time on the mat. Today, she and her family can still be found surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, skiing, hiking, and camping.
At your visit, Dr. Henderson will create a tailored plan for your specific situation and work with your family on the AAP’s key guidelines for student athletes. These include strengthening muscles thorough targeted conditioning exercises, increasing flexibility with stretching, and learning how to listen to your body.
Chiropractic care for school sports injuries
The CDC reports that more than half of American kids aged 6 to 17 play sports. But this also means that there are, for example, “5.2 million sports-related injuries among high schoolers nationally,” says U.S. News & World Report. Thankfully “the vast majority of sports injuries in kids resolve within three weeks.”
Many studies recommend not letting your child specialize in one sport too early—or at all—but having them try several different choices. This can prevent overuse or the wearing and injury of repetitive motion. U.S. News suggests that “Kids should play a variety of sports throughout the year to develop different skill sets, allow some muscles and joints to rest, and meet new friends. They should also stretch and do an appropriate warm-up before play to reduce the risk of injury…It’s also important to ease into play by taking part in skills and drills training before games and scrimmages.”
Whether you’re the proud parent at a football game or swim meet, soccer match or track and field extravaganza, cheering for your kiddo is job one. Job two is making sure they’re having fun and not tying their self-esteem to success or failure on the win/loss scoreboard. But if they love their team and game play is fun for everyone, consider calling Dr. Henderson before, during, or after injuries inevitably arise. She can work on methods to improve balance and core strength, flexibility, and healthy recovery. Give her office a call today at 360.254.0400 or book an exam online.