School is back in session, which means our favorite sports are back too! Unfortunately, this means an increase in sports-related injuries. It’s estimated that high school sports are responsible for 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations every year. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 3 million children under age 14 are hurt each year playing sports, 25 percent of them so seriously they require a trip to the emergency room.
Keeping this in mind, it’s important to recognize common sports-related injuries and their warning signs in order to lessen the impact of the injury and keep your athletes safe throughout the season.
SPRAIN OR STRAIN
Sprain or strain to a muscle or joint are the most common sport related injury. This type of injury can occur in just about any part of the body, although sprained ankles are the most common. Research has shown that early recognition and treatment of a sprain or strain will help speed your recovery, so schedule an appointment with a doctor or physical therapist as soon as possible. In the meantime, remember the R.I.C.E method… Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation… to reduce pain and swelling.
An ACL tear is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament. The ACL is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee, which affects an athlete’s ability to make the sudden or explosive movements required in sports like football, soccer, basketball and cheerleading. This can be a season or career ending injury.
Usually caused by a blow to the head, concussions don’t always involve a loss of consciousness. In fact, most people who have concussions never black out. Many athletes don’t report or are unaware that they have a concussion. Here are some of the warning signs to help you identify if your athlete has sustained a concussion:
• Loss of Consciousness (seen in less than 10 % of concussions)
• Forgets events prior to the injury (retrograde amnesia)
• Forgets events after the injury (anterograde amnesia)
• Appears to be dazed or stunned
• Is confused
• Forgets plays
• Is unsure of score or opponent
• Moves clumsily
• Seems off balance
• Shows behavior or personality change
• May repeat themselves
Talk to one of the skilled clinicians at Elite Integrated Therapy Centers today about how to protect your athlete from sports-related injuries. All locations have extended hours to accommodate school and practice schedules!