The current generation of children is more athletic than any before. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 30 million U.S. children and adolescents are active in youth sports on fields, courts and rinks each year. These young athletes are enjoying many physical, social and emotional benefits from playing sports but unfortunately, there are also risks. Dr. Maryam Ashan, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Centers of Addison, talks about strategies for parents to keep their active, talented kids in prime playing condition.
The Chiropractic Connection
Participation in youth sports is not only booming, it’s something children are starting at earlier ages. “I know as a figure skater myself, children are out on the ice training as early as 2 or 3 years old,” explains Dr. Maryam. “Youth sports puts young, developing structures into demand physically and opens the door for trauma.” But Dr. Maryam says that chiropractic care can play a critical role in helping kids minimize injuries and perform at their peak. “Chiropractic's focus on the spinal structure and nervous system is so important for children since they’re in growth and development stages,” she says. “Chiropractors are also huge educators for parents and kids about how to optimize performance through healthy lifestyles.”
Research shows there is a positive connection between chiropractic care and athleticism. A study of athletes by the Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation concluded that athletes who received 12 weeks of chiropractic care exhibited 30 percent improvement in reaction time, versus a group with no chiropractic care. Dr. Maryam says Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research shows baseball players receiving chiropractic treatments enjoyed significant improvement in their capillary count, which leads to healthy oxygenation of blood supply crucial for muscle function, performance and healing.
The Right Guidance
It’s important to give kids ongoing guidance to prevent injury and enjoy a great playing experience. This means making sure they’re eating healthy meals and snacks, drinking plenty of water, maintaining a proper weight and getting enough rest. Check in with your child’s coach to make sure he or she is using equipment correctly and that they’re warming up and cooling down properly.