Football, soccer, field hockey, cheerleading and volleyball are popular fall youth sports activities. As kids settle into the new school year, they’re also excited to hit the field again.
Of all the sports, football has the highest rate of injuries due to the nature of the sport. Don’t believe me, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approximately 881,700 football-related injuries occurred in kids 5-18 years old.
In the NCAA, it was researched that over 50% of the football injuries were of the lower limb, followed by upper limb then pelvis/torso at about 17% and 12% respectively. Head, face, neck injuries at 4.3% and concussions at 7.4%. I’m sure many have noticed some athletes continue to get injured after an injury and then labeled injury prone, or many of us have experienced the same.
It is known that previous injury is the most consistent predictor of future injury. Overuse injuries are the most common types of sports-related injuries and often times the initial aches and pains felt during the progression of an injury are overlooked by young athletes. It’s essential to teach them about the importance of informing a coach, athletic trainer, or parent about pain because an undiagnosed injury can become more severe in the long run.
Also after an injury there are residual effects of motor control to different parts of the body that was not injured.. An example was researched on reduced hip muscular activation after history of ankle sprains. Plus, another research has shown altered outer CORE muscular activation patterns after history of low back pain even if there was no pain at time of testing.
In football 51% of injuries occur in the preseason which is a short period of time compared to the rest of the season. So many of the athletes will return to activity before the season is over. So it is vital to gain or work towards full motor control to minimize the risk of re-injury when they return.
At Advanced Kinetics we can provide rehab after injury and/or Functional Movement Screen to look for deficits or asymmetries, and start a rehab program or proper sports training with our physical therapists or personal trainer who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. It is our goal to help all athletes to reverse the odds of recurring injury. We also have high speed cameras from Z Flo with Contemplas software from Germany to capture running, jumping, or throwing.
We also have an new wireless sensor system from DorsaVi that can instantly measure asymmetries of such as ground reaction force, ground contact time, initial peak acceleration, knee valgus/varus movement, to name a few.
5 safety tips to keep kids in the game
- Proper warm up for practice and games.
- Don’t play through the pain. Speak with an sports medicine specialist, physical therapist, or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about injuries.
- When playing, wear protective gear such as properly fitted cleats, pads, helmets, mouth guard or other necessary equipment.
- Play different sports during the off-season to minimize overuse injuries.
- Avoid the pressure to overtrain. Listen to your body and decrease training time and intensity, if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury.
At Advanced Kinetics we have the best physical therapists in the area with the history of treating many professional athletes, including the Washington Nationals for 7 years. Currently we are the official physical therapists for Bishop Ireton High School and perform injury prevention programs for many of their sports programs.
AKPT is an independently owned and run by physical therapists who live in the area, not a large conglomerate that reports to shareholders or board members.