Caring for high school athletes
The fall season, rich with fall sports, is an exciting time for everyone, including players, spectators, and coaches. While fandom reigns, this season also comes with overuse injuries, bumps, bruises and concussion concerns. It too can involve more serious injuries and illnesses.
As a general rule of thumb, the more contact in a sport (like football, soccer and basketball), the greater the risk of a traumatic injury. However, many sports injuries can be prevented. Here are a few tips:
Nourish the Body: Drink plenty of fluid before, during and after exercise to avoid heat illness and/or cramps; Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet and stay rested (muscle fatigue predisposes athletes to injury).
Warm Up: Incorporate warm-up and cool-down routines that include static (stretching) and dynamic (jumping jacks etc.) movements before activity; stretch after activity to increase flexibility. Studies show that cold muscles are prone to injury.
Be Prepared: Use proper technique and wear the correct equipment for the activity. This includes footwear, protective gear and temperature appropriate clothing.
Train and Condition: Overuse injuries are common among athletes. Incorporate strength training and cross-training to prevent overworking a specific muscle group. Maintain a consistent exercise regime and a fitness level consistent with the demands of your sport.
Know your Body: Recognize and respond when your body is fatigued. A good rule is to rest or stop activity when you are not physically up to the demands of your sport. If you experience any pain, stop the activity and speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer.
Talk to your athletic trainer or other medical professional if you have symptoms that make you feel uneasy or unable to participate in an activity or sport to your fullest potential.
Portneuf Sports Medicine Institute, in partnership with Portneuf Medical Center, provides a very comprehensive program for student athletes that includes the full spectrum of injury prevention, physicals, care and rehabilitation.
From wellness to nutritional counseling to immediate referrals for injury, we are renowned for keeping local high school athletes at their very peak performance. We, at Portneuf, care for your student athlete(s) both on and off the field.
Reviewed by Brent Faure, ATC, Certified Athletic Trainer.