When it comes to searching for the right chiropractor for your children, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the options that show up if you search “chiropractor near me”. It helps to find chiropractors who have extensive knowledge and experience in treating children and young adults because their bodies are still growing!
Many parents of young athletes are interested in chiropractic care for children because of its gentle, noninvasive treatment approaches for all ages and body types. If you are the parent of a young athlete, you may want to opt for more conservative approaches to your child’s care when they are injured, and a chiropractor can help.
Five Common Injuries Among Young Athletes
Young athletes are participating in more sports and activities than ever before, and these types of leagues can range from just-for-fun to extremely competitive. No matter the mood on the field, your young athlete is still at risk for injury, especially since their bodies are constantly growing and changing. Here are five common injuries young athletes may experience.
1. Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are not uncommon for anyone participating in activities and exercises, and young athletes are no different in that regard. One of the most common types of sprains in sports for young athletes is a sprained ankle. Because children and young adults are still growing, they are still working on developing coordination and strength. An ankle sprain might cause immediate pain depending on its severity, and you may even notice swelling in the area.
2. Shin Splints
“Shin splints” is the more common term for what is called medial tibial stress syndrome, which is a condition caused by overuse. Young athletes who are runners, constantly in motion, or with flat feet are more prone to developing shin splints. If your child has shin splints then they are likely experiencing a dull, aching pain in the lower half of their leg, along the shin bone. If this type of pain is not properly addressed, it can lead to stress fractures. Young athletes will learn the value of proper warm-ups and stretches to help prevent shin splints and other overuse injuries.
3. Knee Injuries
Knee injuries are also common in young athletes and even adults. Running or sports that require a lot of running like soccer and football can lead to knee tenderness and pain near the knee cap and on the sides of the knees. Runners knee and tendinitis are common knee injuries that may occur due to lack of warm-ups and stretches, running on hard surfaces, running too often without taking enough time to rest, and even blows to the knee. Similar to a sprained ankle, it is also possible to twist your knee the wrong way and end up with pain and swelling.
Young athletes who participate in contact sports like football, soccer, and wrestling are more prone to be at risk for dislocations. A dislocation refers to when the bones that make up a joint become separated, which can cause severe pain and swelling in the area. With most dislocations, a sling or other supportive brace may be necessary to help stabilize the area after the joint has been put back into place. The most commonly dislocated joint is the shoulder and dislocations are more common in older children and young adults.
A bone fracture is the medical term for breaking a bone. While most people associate this type of injury with breaking an arm or a wrist, fractures can also be cracks in the bone that are only visible with diagnostic imaging tools like an X-ray. Young children are more prone to fractures than dislocations because their bones are still growing. Children’s bones also heal very quickly, so it is important to seek treatment right away to ensure the bone heals in the correct place to avoid any long-term damage.
Treating and Preventing Injuries in Young Athletes
Young athletes can experience both acute injuries, like sprains or broken bones, and overuse injuries like shin splints. The key to keeping young athletes stay active and involved is to focus on treating any injuries right away and also in preventative care. A chiropractor can help treat your child’s injuries and also provide preventative care that involves strengthening muscles, improving mobility and flexibility, and increasing range of motion in ways appropriate for growing young athletes.
The team of chiropractors at AICA Orthopedics is here to help athletes young and old experience lasting relief from any injuries and also practice safe, healthy prevention stretches and exercises to avoid future injuries.