Tips for keeping your student athlete injury free. Your student athlete's sports, are in full force and coaches are working to keep them safe. Whether you have a student-athlete on the basketball or the volleyball court or even cheerleading, safety during high school sports is an important topic. Here are some common injuries they treat, and ways to address similar injuries in your athlete should something happen away from school: Hydration-related injuries Dehydration is common health threats for athletes, especially if activities take place outside. Making sure your athlete stays properly hydrated throughout the entire day leading up to, during and after the practice or event. Dislocated joints Athletic trainers see dislocated fingers, shoulders, kneecaps and shoulder separations, among others. In these situations this injury is often splint the body part to stabilize it while calling the athlete’s parent or guardian to take them to the hospital for further X-rays and treatment. You probably won’t have a splint at home should your child injure a bone or joint, but try to have your child keep the injured location as immobile as possible until you can get them to the hospital. Concussions Concussions tend to be seen more in contact sports such as football, hockey and wrestling, but can also be seen in sports such as cheerleading, basketball and soccer. The evaluation process for concussions should be easy for certified athletic trainers, but sometimes it becomes difficult when injured athletes don’t want to admit their symptoms because they want to continue playing. If coaches suspect an individual is displaying concussion-like symptoms, you’ll want to make sure her or she receives a physician evaluation. Sprains, tears and contusions The most common injury in student-athletes is ankle sprains. Ligament sprains, muscle strains and bone contusions, or bruising of bones, are also seen in almost every sport. Parents should try to immobilize the injury as quickly as possible and can also put an ice pack on the injury to reduce swelling, pain and bruising. If there is an obvious bone deformity, get them to a hospital or physician that can evaluate the situation, and then make sure your athlete rests to let the injury properly heal. On or off the court, keep your student athlete healthy by knowing the signs and symptoms of each and if you have questions, call your doctor.
No matter what the injury, being injured is not fun. The injury itself can be painful and the recovery time keeps you down. Nobody likes being injured! Did you know, injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages – and they are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. But, there are many things people can do to stay safe and prevent injuries. There is so much information out there about injury prevention, we just wanted to share a few overall health tips to help you stay injury free in any situation.
- Warm Up Warming up is extremely important to a successful workout or training session. However, it’s even more important to reducing your risk of injury. By warming up, you’re making sure that your muscles are receiving enough blood and nutrients to work properly. Starting a hard workout before warming up means you’ll be working muscles when they don’t have enough fuel to take on a hard workout. Think of turning on your car in the cold weather and trying to accelerate fast. Your car has a harder time running without properly warming up first. It’s similar to working out before warming up. Strains are one of the most common injuries resulting from not warming up properly.
- Get Enough Sleep Getting enough sleep means your body is getting the rest it needs to perform at optimal speed. It means you’ll be more alert and less likely to end up with a traumatic injury from a stumble and fall. The body needs sleep to rejuvenate. Without that rejuvenation time, you’re more likely to injure yourself.
- Know When To Rest Over-training is one of the biggest leaders of injuries, especially overuse injuries like strains. Similar to getting enough sleep, your body needs time to rest between hard workouts. Overworking your muscles means putting more strain on them than what they can handle. Knowing your limits and listening to your body can mean the difference between staying pain-free and getting an injury.
- Know Your Weaknesses Everybody has a weakness. This weakness is what leads to injuries like strains and tears. Learning where your weaknesses lie means that you can target those muscles and strengthen them. Athletic trainers and physical therapists are especially knowledgeable in determining a weakness. They can then suggest proper training techniques and exercises that will strengthen those areas.
- Cross-Train and Condition Ensuring you’re working all the muscles means that you’re strengthening your body as a whole. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments all support each other. Whether you feel like you’re using a particular muscle or not, it’s supporting your body in one way or another as you work. Cross training will ensure you’re working all the muscles of the body, and not just specific ones. Cross training and conditioning leads to overall fitness, making sure you’re strong and well rounded.