With students, teachers, and parents all finally settled into their new school schedules, it's safe to say that back-to-school season is nearly at its end. However, fall sports season is only just beginning.
And with the advent of the fall sports season comes the inevitable fall season injuries. While some are more common than others, all should be treated by parents like a doctor treats injury and illness. Here are a few tips to help identify and avoid five common fall sports injuries.
A sprained ankle is likely the most common injury among young athletes. This occurs when ligaments outside of the ankle have been over-stretched or torn. However, adequate strength training and a thorough stretching routine before any sports event is an important way to prevent ankle sprains.
Muscle strains, or pulled muscles, are the result of over-stretching a muscle or group of muscles. This can result in pain and decreased performance for any athlete. Most pulled muscles will right themselves, but some, like a seriously sprained ankle, may require urgent care. Thorough stretching and proper form should be exercised to prevent pulled muscles.
These injuries occur most often in young athletes involved in running, jumping, or high-impact sports. The best method of treatment is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Appropriate conditioning and warming up can help prevent these injuries, too. Shin splints and stress fractures can turn particularly nasty, which is why most seek emergency care if they believe the issue is serious.
If an ACL injury occurs, it's imperative that you seek emergency services or walk-in urgent care as soon as possible. These injuries most typically occur in sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, skiing, and tennis. Prevention involves thorough stretching and careful movements.
A primary care physician who treats injury and illness should be able to identify a concussion easily. If an athlete is involved in a high-impact sport such as football, concussions are extremely likely. This is one of the many reasons protective headgear should be properly equipped. In the event you think your child may have a concussion, remember that approximately 97% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week, so diagnosis and treatment are never far away.
Fall sports are always fun to watch, but adequate protection and preparation are always needed. Think the way your doctor would as he or she treats injury and illness. Prevention is the best medicine!
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