Playing sports such as soccer or basketball can enrich an adolescent’s overall health and lifestyle. Sports promote life-skill education and improve physical fitness. It also encourages teens to build community and good rapport with their peers. However, in any sports game, minor to severe accidents are bound to happen during playing.
Common sports injuries include broken or dislocated bones, sprains, and cartilage tears. These injuries likely affect the head, shoulder, knee, and ankle as these body parts absorb most of the impact and stress when playing any kind of sport.
The risk of injuries shouldn’t stop teens from their interest in playing sports. In this article, we discuss the prevention of sports injuries in adolescents to keep them safe and healthy when they’re out playing. Proper treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries in adolescents can also help them recover faster and get them back into sports as safely as possible.
Prevention of Sports Injuries in Adolescents
Prevention of sports injuries starts with proper preparation before playing. Pre-season physical exams are a great way to check if the athlete is physically fit to play. During this exam, a healthcare provider will assess any areas that may need to be monitored. They will guide them toward better playing habits and address current health issues to prevent further injuries.
Proper training and conditioning are vital for avoiding injury. Stretching and other warm-up activities help loosen the muscles and prepare them for playing sports. Mixing up the training routine with a variety of exercises can also reduce the risk of injury.
Doing the correct technique in their sport also protects them from future injuries. Following the guidelines in their sport can help keep them and their teammates safe when playing.
Using protective equipment when playing such as a helmet, pads, or correct footwear can also prevent sports injuries. Properly outfitting the athlete makes sure that in the instances that they do get into an accident, their equipment does its job in lessening the impact and protecting their body.
Treating Adolescent Sports Injuries
Playing a sport, whether for a season or year-round, brings a greater risk for sport-related injuries in adolescents. Treatment for sports injuries depends on the severity and area of the injury.
In all instances, the athlete should stop playing once they get injured. Continuing to play when injured increases the risk of developing a more serious injury. Minor sports injuries can heal with at-home practices, such as the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The RICE method helps reduce swelling and provide support to the injured area. Pain medication, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can alleviate muscle pain with minor sports injuries.
For more severe injuries, surgery may become necessary. When there is loss of mobility, excessive bruising, or bleeding that does not improve with at-home medication and strategies, consult your healthcare provider for the next step.
Surgery can correct bone fractures, as well as repair tendon and ligament tears. Physical therapy can also help build up strength and heal the injured body part.
Recovery From Sports Injuries in Adolescents
Recovering from a sports injury can take time. It is crucial to gradually increase physical activity while ensuring that the injured area moves without pain or stiffness before fully returning to play.
Following through the individualized rehabilitation plan can also speed up the recovery process. Doing physical therapy and taking prescribed medication on time can speed up the recovery process.
Taking the time to rest and recuperate during this recovery period is necessary to make sure the injured area heals properly. Buying new protective gear and reviewing current lifestyle choices such as diet can help the adolescent prepare to get back into sports. Ultimately, when they can get back into the game is up to their coach and healthcare provider.
Adolescent Medicine in Tuckahoe, NY
There are many benefits to playing sports for adolescents. While getting injured is always a possibility when playing, it shouldn’t be a reason to stop playing altogether. There are many ways to prevent sports injuries from happening in the first place.
At Village Pediatric Group, we provide comprehensive and compassionate care for children of all ages, from newborns to adolescents. We provide adolescent-focused medical care that covers an array of physical and mental health concerns.
Our board-certified physicians and excellent staff can also assist in injury prevention and treatment for adolescent athletes. Partnering with a medical team that specializes in adolescent medicine can be beneficial in improving their overall health.
If you have any questions about the services we provide, you can schedule an appointment with us today for further discussion. Our friendly staff can be reached at (914) 771-7070. You can also use our online booking tool for your convenience.
We look forward to getting your child back to doing the things they love!