What Can We Do About Youth Sports Injuries in Cedar Rapids IA?

What Can We Do About Youth Sports Injuries in Cedar Rapids IA?

What Can We Do About Youth Sports Injuries in Cedar Rapids IA?

About a week or two ago I posted a link to an article on Dr. James Andrews and his thoughts on kids and their participation in sports. You can see the link on our Cedar Rapids IA chiropractor's facebook page. If you are concerned about youth sports injuries in Cedar Rapids IA this article is for you.

I want to highlight a few of Dr. Andrew points and discuss them. It seems like we are seeing to polar opposite things in our children in today's society. On one hand you have childhood obesity. The numbers on this is staggering and saddening all at the same time. That's an a post for a different time but it is important to mention as it is a major problem. On the opposite end of the childhood obesity problem (that is due largely to a sedentary lifestyle) is the increased injuries in children from playing sports. Dr. Andrews mentions a few things but the first thing I want to highlight is:

1) A five to sevenfold increase in injuries in Youth sports in Cedar Rapids IA

Dr. Andrews mentioned that he primarily saw it in baseball. This is not surprising as he works with a lot of professional baseball players (among others). It is natural that people would seek him out for these injuries. I can tell you firsthand I have seen a lot more injuries in youth sports over the last 5 years or so. We are also seeing a lot more participation in general with these sports. This is a good thing, especially given the childhood obesity problem that was previously mentioned. The issue with participation is that to much of a good thing, is a bad thing. The chances of injury are greater, especially when kids are tired, overworked, etc…

2) Kids "specializing" is one of the main problems

The article highlights 2 out of many reasons Dr. Andrews is seeing more youth injuries and surgeries. They are "specialization" and "professionalism." They both have to do with the fact kids are focusing on just one sport or activity. It stands to reason that if you do the same thing over and over again that certain parts are going to wear out faster than others. We can be talking about your body, your car or the door knob. If something is consistently or repetitively stressed in a certain direction then it will break down.

3) Take 2-4 months of rest

This is maybe my favorite part of the article...and maybe the hardest for most to follow. With increasing pressure to improve today's youth are pushing their bodies to the limit and not giving it proper time to recover. One of the best ways to think about this is in terms of a marathon, not a sprint. We want our children to be involved in athletics for many years, not just a few. If we constantly think of the "big picture" and try not to get caught up in the moment I think it would be better for our children both physically and psychologically.

As a father of 4 children this has been on my mind for a while. I want to give my children the chance to succeed while not pushing them to far or placing to high of priority on athletics. Youth sports can and should teach our children many things such as teamwork, humility, pride, social skills, etc… but it shouldn't teach them how to destroy their body.

The question then becomes what can we do? I think that Dr. Andrews does a fantastic job of pointing to the fact that prevention is really the key. Prevention is not simply getting adjusted once a month for the rest of your life. Prevention is a detailed plan with specific goals and outcomes. I plan on letting you all know about the various ways we can prevent injuries but my goal today was to tell parents that it's ok if your child doesn't play a sport all year. In fact it' probably better for them in many ways.

If you have questions, concerns, or would like us to help you or a family member please call Integrated Medicine of Iowa at (319) 395-9897.


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