07 Mar Chiropractic Care for Kids Who Play Sports: Why It’s Important
Youth sports is booming, offering children benefits like physical fitness, social skills, self-discipline, and emotional wellbeing. It’s important to remember, though, that when it comes to sports safety, growing kids have unique needs.
As a family-centered wellness practice, Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic provides the care and advice your child needs for a safe, fun and successful athletic experience.
Sports and Your Child’s Musculoskeletal System
As the saying goes, children aren’t simply smaller versions of adults.
Because their muscles and bones are still growing, kids are at a higher risk of injury from impacts or overuse than the typical adult. At the ends of young bones are areas known as growth plates. These have weaknesses that can intensify injuries, even interfering long-term with normal bone growth.
Common Injuries in Youth Sports
Children are typically injured in two major ways during sporting activities:
Acute injuries (such as broken bones, sprains and bruises) occur suddenly, from a fall, twist or impact.
Overuse injuries (such as tendinitis or shin splints) happen gradually from repetitive motions, especially when the child’s body doesn’t get enough rest time between activities.
Parents and coaches should be alert to signs that a child may have an overuse injury. These include swelling, pain, and reduced performance or interest in practicing.
Common sports injuries in children include:
- Lower back or neck pain
- Knee injuries
- Shin splints
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Sprains or strains
- Swollen muscles
Tips to Help Your Child Prevent Sports Injuries
The good news is that lots of injuries are preventable with good safety practices, such as:
- Scheduling a sports physical exam for the child before starting a sport
- Using the correct protective gear, such as padding, helmets or shin guards
- Playing a variety of sports, with rest breaks, to avoid overuse injuries
- Doing proper warmups, stretches and cooldowns for physical activities
- Performing strength, aerobic and flexibility exercises that are appropriate for the child and the sport
- Not playing if in pain or fatigued
Also, be sure to encourage healthy habits:
- A balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and fewer processed foods
- Plenty of sleep—at least 8 hours nightly
- Good hydration—especially before, during and after sports
Helping Children Reach Their Best Fitness Potential with Chiropractic Care
Chiropractors work with athletes of all ages and even professional sports teams, providing treatments that align the spine and promote:
- Improved posture
- Reduced chance of injury
- Improved joint function, flexibility and range of motion
- Less pain and inflammation
- Faster recovery
- Better athletic performance
Your child’s chiropractor provides care that is noninvasive and safe. They diagnose and treat the source of pain and coordinate with other medical professionals for your child’s care. Spinal adjustments are gently modified for children, using only light pressure.
As a bonus, you’ll find that many overall benefits of children’s chiropractic care–such as better immunity, stress relief, and optimized brain development–also carry over to your child’s success in whatever sports they choose.
Contact Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic to Schedule Your Free Consultation
To get your child started on achieving their best physical fitness potential, call our Broken Arrow office at 918-940-4630 today.