We recently shared some interesting pointers on helping your student athlete avoid injuries this fall, whether they be on the football field, the track, or cheering for one of the teams. Our orthopedic urgent care specialists have even more tips to prevent common injuries, such as concussions, soft tissue injuries, and repetitive motion conditions to keep your athlete healthy.
- Consistently incorporate both strength training and stretching. If you take care to follow guidelines for certain age groups, supplementing your child’s sports routine with strength training and proper stretching will help reinforce his or her stamina and flexibility. Good conditioning is the best way to prevent the most common sports injuries: sprains, strains, torn ligaments and tendons, bruising and inflammation, and broken bones.
- Middle and high school youths need 10 consecutive weeks of rest from their chosen sport every year, and 2 days of rest per week. This does not mean they need a period of inactivity, but rather a different sport or activity. This is a very important way to counteract stress, or overuse, injuries.
- Overuse injuries are the most common sports injuries. The repetitive motions of some sports positions can take a serious toll on muscles and bones. Dedicated athletes may ignore the initial aches and pains that signal a more serious problem, and then may cause more damage before the issue is addressed. Make sure your children know to tell someone if they are in pain, to not play through the pain or to play when injured. Coaching on prevention of overuse injuries significantly reduces the risk for young athletes. Ask the coach to teach the team how to avoid stress injuries by taking proper precautions, and then echo the coach’s sentiments at home. Encourage a culture of sports safety.
- Inspect the field or gym for unsafe playing surfaces, and note weather conditions. Is the gym floor too slippery or too rough? Is it uneven or bumpy? Has rain caused the grass to be too slick to be safe to play on? Pay attention to the playing environment to prevent unnecessary trips, slips, and falls.
- Pay close attention to what other players are doing in order to watch out for potential accidents. Help your athlete learn how to pay attention to what is going on around them so they can anticipate if it looks like something is about to go wrong, such as a painful collision or tripping.
- Make sure coaches are appropriately alternating players. Rather than relying on a few “star players” to win, encourage coaches to make sure all players are getting adequate rest periods during games. Favoritism can be common in youth athletics, but it can also lead to injuries.
No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to prevent injuries altogether. When you need urgent care for sports injuries, turn to the experts here at Patient Care Now Urgent Care in Fairless Hills. We’ll get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment right away, so your favorite player can return to play as safely and quickly as possible. Call (267) 202-6433, walk right in to our office, or check in online for quick service.