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Your Whole Health: Preventing Injuries in Youth Sports

School’s out which means summer camps and youth sports are in full swing. As youngsters of all ages head to the parks and playing fields, Logan’s Human Performance Center Resident Cami Stastny, DC, MS, CCSP, reminds parents and coaches to follow a few simple steps to minimize and prevent the risk of youth sport injuries.

  • Ensure proper warm-up and instruction of exercises/drills
  • Be aware and cautious of overuse injuries
  • Encourage participation in multiple sports and activities so the body learns many planes of movement and becomes more adaptable

Dr. Stastny said some coaches lack a fundamental understanding of exercises and how to implement training methods, and unfortunately, they may mirror their personal past experiences and “old school” mentality, which might not fit the group of children they are training. She said it’s not uncommon to see previous collegiate or semi-pro athletes implement training strategies on youth athletes whose bodies are just not ready for it.

When it comes to youth sports, it’s also important to take the time to understand best practices and strategies, which include proper nutrition and hydration, getting plenty of rest and wearing proper gear.

Chiropractic care is a valuable tool for treating injuries and keeping active youth in good shape, on and off the field. In general, adjustments help with keeping joints healthy. Additionally, movement and mobility screenings can provide a personalized assessment of an injury.

Dr. Stastny said being able to see deficiencies in movement can allow for some simple rehab exercises that can both enhance performance and prevent injury. For example, a chiropractor can make sure the foot is able to absorb forces properly, which can make a big difference in performance and training.

Not all injuries and athletes should be treated the same. While the knowledge and the techniques used to treat the patient will be similar, how they are applied to each person should be customized to fit the individual.