Sports injuries are commonplace in active children and adolescents. Balanced Body Chiropractic is well versed in the orthopeadic assessment of injury and may be able to apply management strategies and assist your child’s return to sport following injury.
Sports injuries are usually considered to be just part of sports. Most injuries recover in due time with few complications. However, if your child is ever injured, the following steps may help you assist them in their recovery in the first 24-72 hours following injury;
Rest: rest the injured area. This will limit movement of the injured area, limit any bleeding and inflammation under the skin and minimise any swelling. Crutches or an arm sling may be useful.
Ice: apply ice to the injured area. Wrap the ice in paper towel, a tea towel or a t-shirt so as not to damage the skin and underlying nerves and tissues with extreme cold. Keep the ice in place for 20 minutes, then remove for 20 minutes. Repeat this process for 2-3 hours.
Compression: apply a pressure bandage to the affected area. Be sure not to wrap the bandage too tight, you should be able to comfortably slip your finger beneath the bandage.
Elevation: raise the injured area above the level of the heart to allow for drainage of swelling away from the injured area. Use pillows to support the limb. Couch arms are great for ankles!
Refer: if after 72 hours there is little or no improvement in the injured area, there is severe pain or excessive bruising appears, seek advice from a health professional.
Types of Sports Injuries
Generally, our children and teens experience two types of sporting injuries; Acute and Chronic. Acute injuries are more common, are usually traumatic and typically involve collisions with the sporting ground, equipment, other players, loss of balance or falling. Examples include;
- Sprained/rolled ankles
- Falls onto outstretched hands (FOOSH)
- Pulled muscles
- “Corkies” to muscles
- Slips, trips, falls
- *Broken bones
- *Head and neck trauma
Chronic injures are not very common. In children and teens, they often occur due to poor technique, altered biomechanics or overuse/overtraining. When children complain of vague but painful areas of their bodies, particularly at night, these should be taken seriously by parents and investigated thoroughly. Chronic injuries are common in children who play train more than 3 days per week, play in multiple sporting teams and are high level athletes, but can appear in any child, even in those who do not participate in regular sporting activity. Examples of overuse injuries that can affect children include;
- Sever’s Disease of the ankles and achilles tendon
- Osgood Schlatter’s of the knee and patellar tendon
- Jumper’s knee of the lower knee-cap
- Stress fractures
- Growth plate fractures
- “Little Leaguer’s” elbow from throwing injury
Chiropractic Care for the Management of Sports Injury
Most injures are of little concern. Some parents notice and increase in injury frequency when their children are experiencing a growth spurt. During this time, there is often delay in the body’s nervous system in catching up with their new body size and shape. Asymmetrical or uneven growth can also temporarily contribute to coordination and balance difficulty. Balanced Body chiropractic is experienced in assessing injuries and their causative factors. Chiropractic care can assist in the treatment and management of sports injuries. Hands on treatment including massage and chiropractic adjustments in addition to stretching, minor rehab and balance exercises are all services that we provide. In certain circumstances, referral for co-management or treatment by another provider may be required to ensure your child receives the most appropriate care for their injury and a speedy return to sport.