Back to Health: Chiropractic: A Winning Approach For Your Child Athlete
As the start of new school year begins, more and more children will be engaging in a variety of sports-related activities. Along with these activities comes the danger of injuries.
A “ding” may be more serious than expected. After a “ding” on the field, shook-up athletes may sit on the sidelines for a little while, then, if they look okay, they often go back into the game.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, more than 30 million children participate in organized sports in the US. Even more kids participate in recreational activities such as bicycling, in-line skating, skateboarding and riding scooters. Approximately 775,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports related injuries, and about 25 percent of those injuries are considered serious.
Injuries to children’s spines are not unique to contact sports like football or martial arts. They are also seen in non-contact sports like gymnastics and competitive cheerleading. Injuries to the pediatric spine vary according to the specific mechanism of injury.
Remember your young athlete is NOT a mini adult athlete! Girls grow until about age 18 and boys grow until about age 21. This means they still have a lot of cartilage and growth plates where their bones have not fused together yet.
Athletic performance and chiropractic go hand and hand. At Sandstone Chiropractic we have doctors that specialize in sports and pediatrics. Athletes of all types, from the youngster in little league to the world-class athlete, rely on chiropractic care to assist in the body’s natural healing processes and to optimize overall function. The nervous system is the master control system of the entire body. Spinal imbalances, caused by athletic demands and injury have negative effects on normal muscle and organ function.
Athletes count on the function of their bodies to help them perform at peak levels. Studies have shown that athletes who receive regular chiropractic adjustments react faster, execute fine movements with improved accuracy and precision, and have better co-ordination, all in all, amounting to an overall better athlete. It’s not just simply based on size and strength.
Head impacts as experienced in football or martial arts, or from falling on the child’s feet or buttocks as in gymnastics or cheerleading lead to minor misalignments of the spine, or “vertebral subluxations”. Subluxations cause nerve interference and weaken the entire structure of the spine. Athletic training can often jar and misalign the spinal column because the spine is at the center of the body. Impact to the legs, feet, head, shoulders and torso often radiates to the spine.
The nervous system controls every activity in the body by sending and receiving nerve messages and is protected by the bones or vertebra of the spine. When the spine is in its ideal structural position, the nerves are protected and optimal communication exists between the nervous system and the rest of the body. The vertebra of the spine are susceptible to certain stresses and forces, which can cause them to lose their proper position.
Whether your children are participating in contact or non-contact sports, a proper chiropractic evaluation by a qualified chiropractor can keep them in the game and help to minimize if not prevent injuries.
Elite athletes recognize the importance of a subluxation-free body for maximum performance and health. Your children deserve the best as well. Whether your children participate in sport activity for fun or are part of the athletic world for competition, regular chiropractic care for healing and athletic performance are a winning combination!
Along with chiropractic care, here are some other tips for keeping your child athlete healthy and injury free:
• Wear the proper equipment
• Eat healthy meals
• Drink water
• Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks
• Follow a warm-up routine
• Take vitamins daily: A multi-vitamin and Vitamin C are good choices for the young athlete. Vitamin B and amino acids may help reduce the pain from contact sports. Thiamine can help promote healing. Also consider Vitamin A to strengthen scar tissue.
• Get plenty of rest.