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Preventing sports injuries | Guest Column
As we head into fall sports season, it is important to know a few ways that we can prevent injuries while helping our children stay active. Here are a few simple tips!
• Prepare for the season. Help your child start working out prior to the sports season (approximately 4-6 weeks in advance). Either keeping in shape year round or slowly working fitness level up to be ready for fall sports can prevent many early-season injuries. Everyone needs to give their body time to adjust!
• Warm up and stretch. Warming up and stretching is extremely important in preventing injury. Warm and loose muscles are less likely to get pulled.
• Rest and recover. Children want to play hard and compete at their best, but ideally the best game/race/match will come in the playoffs. Encourage your child to rest and let his/her body recover so it can function for the long run.
• Look into injury prevention programs. Female athletes involved in cutting/pivoting sports (soccer, basketball, lacrosse, etc.) should consider participating in an ACL prevention program. ACL injuries are much more common in female athletes. There are many reasons for this (which is a topic itself), but a specific exercise program has been shown to reduce the injury rate in female athletes. You can find out more information on ACL injury prevention at websites such as www.stopsportsinjuries.org.
For more information on sports injury prevention, check out this video by my colleague Dr. Terrance Cronin. You can also visit www.Swedish.org for more information or to make an appointment.
Dr. Clinton is a sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon with ProOrtho, located at Swedish/Redmond.