Now that school is back in session- sports have begun. In the last couple of weeks I have had several children ranging in age from 3-16 years old with some subjective complaint related to an injury sustained from such sports as tee ball, football, tumbling, gymnastics, basketball and hockey.
I recently read a very informative article by Claudia Arnig, D.C. called Sports-Related Injuries in Children: What Parents Need to Know. In this article Dr. Arnig gave some very interesting numbers that I believe all parents should know. It is estimated that 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive some form of medical treatment for sports injuries each year. Also, the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine estimates that each year close to 212 million school days are missed by students who have sustained a musculoskeletal injury vastly attributed to sports-related incidents.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 300, 000 children and adolescents suffer from sports-related concussions each year. Concussion symptoms range from memory loss, chronic headaches, difficulty with concentrations to depression. These symptoms can manifest for months, even years following a severe concussion. Some parents even reported abrupt personality changes following a serious sports-related head injury.
Repetitive stress injuries to children’s developing spine and extremities can also develop in children who play sports that require the child to move one arm or leg repetitively over long periods of time like baseball, golf, and tennis for example. If their sport leans toward asymmetrical movements, children should be taught how to properly warm up and cool down through symmetrical activities to balance the body and minimize repetitive strain injuries.
Childen should also be taught the concept of pain and its importance as a warning signal from the body that something is wrong and needs to be checked out. Taking pain medication or OTC pain relievers will simply mask the problem and act as a band aid instead of getting to the root cause of the problem.
Children benefit greatly from regular spinal and extremity check-ups with their chiropractor. Rather than waiting for an injury to occur, chiropractic care can help children practice practical prevention strategies and develop better overall stability.
ref: Dynamic Chiropractic, August 26, 2009