When it comes to finding a chiropractor for your child, you want to know whether or not they have experience in working with growing bodies and young athletes. Choosing the right chiropractor for your young athlete might initially involve you doing a search online for a “chiropractor near me”. Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, chiropractic can be incredibly beneficial for their growing bodies and minds. You may also consider going to a chiropractor for help with injuries that occur on and off the field because of the more conservative, natural approach to treatment and care for your child. If your young athlete has sustained an injury playing a sport they love, you’ll want to take them to a chiropractor who can help them experience a full, swift recovery.
Overuse injuries are the most common type of injury in young athletes because their bodies are growing and they’re learning about how to dedicate themselves to an activity they enjoy. A young athlete may develop an overuse injury gradually, especially when there is not enough time for the body to rest in between activities. Whether your young athlete is in it for the fun or the competition, overuse injuries can happen. Here are three examples of overuse injuries in young athletes:
Tendonitis can affect people of all ages because it refers to the tendons that attach muscles to bones and how they become irritated or inflamed. Children and teenagers can develop tendonitis from activities that involve a lot of running and jumping, like basketball, track and field, soccer, and tennis. Jumper’s knee is an example of tendonitis in the knee, which can cause pain in the knee cap when playing any sport that involves a lot of jumping.
Young athletes who experience shin splints will report feeling pain along the front of their lower legs. The shinbone and its supporting muscles and tendons can be overworked and lead to tiny tears in these soft tissues. Shin splints are often more common in runners and dancers, though they can also affect players of sports that occur on harder surfaces. High-impact sports activities can put too much stress on the legs and repetitive movements can lead to this type of overuse injury.
Runner’s knee refers to a type of overuse injury that affects the cartilage inside the knee. While it is called runner’s knee, it doesn’t just affect runners; in fact, any type of activity or exercise that involves repetitive knee bending and straightening can lead to this, including biking, skiing, and weightlifting. Your young athlete may first notice pain in the knee cap, they may also experience tight leg muscles and increased pain with certain bending movements.
While overuse injuries are the most common type of injury in young athletes, it is possible to sustain a sudden injury, also known as an acute injury.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help young athletes perform successfully in their activities. Young athletes who experience any pain on the field should take time out to assess their injuries with a trusted adult before potentially causing further damage. Young athletes are likely to pull a muscle or sprain their ankle, and some might be tempted to play through the pain, so it’s important that parents and coaches promote safe and healthy practices.
Dislocations and Fractures
Some of the more serious injuries for young athletes include dislocations and fractures. While they are less common, it is something to be prepared for in case of an emergency. What might seem like a sprain might actually be a fracture, especially when swelling in the area makes it difficult to tell. Dislocations are generally quite obvious and need to be addressed by a health care professional.
Unfortunately, a concussion is an injury possibly acquired through sports and head injuries should always be taken very seriously. Concussions might cause dizziness, disorientation, headaches, nausea, and even temporary loss of consciousness. If you suspect your young athlete has a concussion, they should see a doctor right away.
When it comes to treating injuries in young athletes, don’t just go with the first person you find when looking up a “chiropractor near me” online. Instead, consider a team of health care professionals like chiropractors, orthopedists, and physical therapists at AICA Orthopedics in Atlanta. We understand how important your child’s health is and know how to treat injuries in growing bodies so they can experience a solid recovery and learn how to prevent future injuries.