Taking Care of Your Little Athlete As summer winds down, a new season of sports begins—and many kids head back to their school teams, practices and games. Over the past 22 consecutive years, participation in high school sports has been on the rise. And it’s estimated that three out of four American families with school-aged kiddos have at least one playing an organized sport! Undoubtedly, it’s great that kids are more active out on the court and on the field, but with all that activity, there comes, of course, the risk of injury.

Reactive vs. Proactive Care

In the United States, we’re often reactive when it comes to our healthcare—meaning, we’ll head to the doctor after we’ve gotten an ear infection or sprained an ankle. At Chiro One Wellness Centers, one of our goals is to show people the incredible benefits of proactive and preventative healthcare—which is why we encourage people to begin care before experiencing pain or an injury.

Dr. Jeremy Hayes, Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Centers of Flossmoor, joins us today to share some of the reasons why he highly recommends regular chiropractic care for all kids—but especially those who are active or participate in sports or athletic training.

Spot an Injury or Weakness Before it’s a Problem

Chiropractic care is a great tool for preventing long-term health issues, which is why it’s critical kids are seen throughout the season, not just when an injury has occurred—or even worse, years later when the pain has become unbearable.

“Have you noticed that often when a child falls, he or she bounces right back up? Often, it’s hard to spot an injury in a child with your naked eye and it can remain unseen for years,” Dr. Jeremy explains. “Subluxation—which is a misalignment of one or more of the vertebrae in the spine—is silent in the early stages. It can take years to see or feel the damage caused by subluxation, and at that point more serious conditions may have developed, like degeneration or bone spurs. This is a big reason why I encourage patients bring in their children for regular treatment and checkups.”

Taking Care of Your Little Athlete

Pinpointing the Problem

A good chiropractor can also help to locate the problem before it becomes a long-term issue. Recently, Dr. Jeremy treated a high school track athlete, who suddenly began experiencing intense knee pain. Shortly before seeing Dr. Jeremy, the patient had begun a new training regimen at a sports facility to work on speed and agility.

“I spent a lot of time with this patient, asking a lot of questions and thoroughly reviewing his health history. During this process, we uncovered the root of the problem; his new training coach had him swap out his stabilizing running shoes for a pair that would allow for greater flexibility. It turns out this switch was affecting his overall alignment in his ankles and knees.” Had Dr. Jeremy not caught this problem, this patient’s injuries could have developed into a long-term problem—potentially taking him away from the sport he loves.

As you gear up for the practices and games, find some time to visit your chiropractor for a spinal evaluation, and keep up with your treatment throughout the season and beyond. Your body is your biggest and best asset!