Over a million high school students play a sport, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (August 2016). The highest percentage play football, followed by track and field, basketball and soccer. Farther down the list is volleyball, baseball, cross country, softball, tennis, plus swimming and diving. This is great news in light of the current health crisis in the rise of obesity. However, this is also a warning. Injuries within the student athlete group cannot be overlooked nor minimized.
Unfortunately, in many situations they are, due to various reasons:
- a state title is on the line,
- the fear of losing a college scholarship,
- missing out of the competition and fun,
- or the pain isn’t “that bad.”
There are long term ramifications for this mindset. Therefore, advocate for your student athlete by closely monitoring their sport participation and actively look for potential problems.
The goal is to prevent serious injury, in addition to keeping the body working at it’s peak performance. Also, not creating a ripple effect of other injuries, too. This approach allows the student athlete to enjoy life, long after their sport years are over. Pain-free.
Football is a dangerous sport, even with all the protective gear. The older the player, the harder the hits. Sustaining even a mild injury creates future problems if not addressed immediately. However, all too often, the player jumps right back into the game, never giving the injury time to heal. With the body already compromised, the additional micro-traumas add up faster.
In these situations, rehabilitation is essential. With a shoulder injury, the student athlete might notice a popping sound while lifting weights as he conditions. This popping sound is due to weakened muscles and tendons that can no longer hold the shoulder in place. With proper rehabilitation, those muscles and tendons can be strengthened to hold the shoulder in the socket and eliminate the popping.
The best approach is to align your student athlete with a professional that specializes in rehabilitation. Most of all, be proactive in an investment in your child’s future.