High school sports injuries may cause lasting damage – azcentral.com
If your sons or daughters are playing high school sports this fall, listen up. The injuries from high school sports can be significant enough to cause long-term, chronic injuries.
The injuries that occur may affect them long-term because high school athletes are still growing, which makes them more susceptible to muscle, tendon and growth plate injuries.
Most injuries will occur to the shoulder, knee, neck, back, ankle and foot. It is particularly important to get children to condition themselves before they start playing, to reduce the incidence of injuries. My theory is that you should condition yourself to play sports, instead of playing sports to get conditioned.
Since the potential for injuries is so significant, it is important for a young athlete to receive a sports physical prior to playing.
The examination should include a musculoskeletal evaluation to rule out scoliosis, a common curvature of the spine. Also to be ruled out are knee problems like Osgood-Schlatter disease, which is common in children between the ages of 10 and 15 and causes knee pain. This can limit kidsâ sports participation until the condition is resolved.
Children should have electrocardiograms, and possibly an echocardiogram, done to rule out murmurs or valvular problems of cardiomyopathies of the heart. The absence of a heart murmur does not necessarily mean that a heart is perfectly normal.
Physical examinations can also detect underlying diabetes, so a blood test and urinalysis are important.
A famous coach once said, âWinning isnât everything, but it is the only thing.â I disagree with that statement when it comes to high school sports. I think children should be encouraged to play sports on a regular basis to have fun but not necessarily to always win.
In order to develop the agility, flexibility, and strength that children should have, they ought to consider various sports. Sports can help children emotionally, physically and academically.
However, a lifetime of participation and exercise may be more important than simply a season or two of a particular sport. I think the balance of sports and education is important for children.
The treatment of most sports injuries includes rest and ice for the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury, followed by the application of heat. If an injury is serious, athletes should not go right back into playing.
Dr. Art Mollen is an osteopathic family physician and a health, fitness and preventive medicine expert. Reach him at 480-656-0016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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