Injury Prevention in Our Young Athletes
April 29, 2021 4:17 pm / Category: Physical Therapy
One of the biggest questions in sports is always: “how can we prevent injury”? That is becoming especially true as our young athletes are returning to their sports after such an extended period off due to COVID-19 shutdowns. This season of sports has been predicted to have one of the highest injury rates. Unfortunately, there is not one key secret to preventing it. The best possible ways to avoid injury are through the following:
- At least 7-9 hours! Kids are extremely busy with school pressure, sports (sometimes multiple), extracurriculars, and others, especially now that activities are starting up again. We are currently seeing our young athletes cutting back on their sleep to keep up with everything on their plates, which is not allowing for proper recovery of their growing bodies. Tired minds and bodies are not able to react and support themselves through their activities. Approximately 7-9 hours of sleep is crucial for the body to be able to perform optimally.
- A good starting point is drinking half the body weight in ounces of water, but the amount the body needs depends on each person’s body composition, activity level, and diet. An appropriate gauge on if you are drinking enough water is the color of your urine. Ideally, it should be a light yellow to clear. If urine is a dark yellow color, your body probably needs a higher water amount than you are currently drinking.
- A balanced diet will give these young athletes the proper fuel to sustain the demands put on their bodies. It is easy to grab and go fast food and processed food, but a healthy, balanced diet will give your athlete the best chance to perform at their best.
4.Appropriate warm-up, sport-specific
- A proper warm-up should mimic the activity the athlete is about to perform and contain more dynamic stretching over the commonly passive/static stretching. Passive/static stretching is holding a muscle stretch for a sustained time, usually 30-60 seconds. Dynamic stretching is where joints/muscles move actively through a full range of motion; examples include leg swings, walking leg hugs, arm circles, lunges with a twist, high kicks.
- With sports being on hold for so long due to COVID-19, our young athletes are now dealing with multiple sports at once, various practices a day, and returning to the level of play they were at before the shutdown (sometimes higher than prior levels in an attempt to make up for lost time). That is leading to significant fatigue and injuries.
Also, remember that physical therapy can also be a preventative approach! A licensed physical therapist can evaluate and assess your young athlete for any mobility restrictions or muscular imbalances and recommend a proper program!
Time to get back to exercising! Rausch PT will set your kid up for success with a personalized program to boost their performance and prevent injuries for years to come. Keep them prepared, safe, and pain-free! For more info on how to keep them safe in the field, contact us today at (949) 276-5401.
Rausch Physical Therapy remains your caring team and can accommodate you with a specific, personalized plan. Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rauschpt or call us at (949) 276-5401 to learn how we can help you.
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