Exercise and sports are very important for children. They help build healthy systems, increase self-esteem, give a sense of dedication and teach teamwork. Sports, especially for children focus on the technique of the sport but don’t necessarily evaluate the physical shape of the body before beginning practices and competitions. If an injury occurs, it is rare that a proper return-to-play evaluation and rehabilitation program is put into place. It is the belief of many adults that when one is young, they are more resilient. This way of thinking is true; however, it isn’t because the person is healing faster, but because at a young age, the children can adapt and compensate more swiftly.
While compensations and adaptations help the child to return to the sport or exercise of choice quicker, in the long-term, the body will need to adapt to the compensations making it a vicious cycle because eventually, the body won’t be able to handle the adaptations and compensations anymore. Sometimes the body will give up in youth, but other times, it will take until well into adulthood before the body falls apart.
In my practice as a massage therapist I often hear clients tell me, “I don’t know what happened, I sneezed and threw out my back. I was just walking and my hip started to hurt a lot. I was putting on my shirt and I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder, and now I can’t move my arm.” I hear these statements about once a day. It isn’t the sneeze, walking or putting on a shirt that caused the injury, it is the body unable to continue functioning with the compensations that exist in the body.
Athletic therapists are exercise scientists and kinesiologists and have extensive knowledge of the body and the body’s movements. They understand the needs of the sports and the needs of the human body. In some countries, every school and every sports team has a therapist that works closely with the athletes and the coaches. Consulting with an athletic therapist whether it is one who works with your child’s sports team or one who works in a private practice will help to prevent and rehabilitate injuries.
If the athletic therapist works with your child’s sports team, the therapist can help prevent injuries by evaluating the movement patterns and strength of the muscles and sports performance in order to suggest a proper exercise program. If your child is injured, the athletic therapist will be able to evaluate the injury and also the cause of the injury.
Rehabilitation of an injury should include rehabilitation of the actual injury, but also the strengthening and balancing of the other structures in the chain. For example, with an ankle sprain, the athletic therapist should also look at the mobility and strength of the hips.
Many adults and young adults suffer from aches, pains, and injuries that are caused by events in their youth, and many promising sports careers are halted due to various injuries; consulting with an athletic therapist can help to prevent injuries and properly rehabilitate injuries.Contact us if you would like to book an appointment with our Athletic Therapist.