Child Wellness: Preventing student athlete injuries
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When it comes to sports and kids, they have the opportunity to play all year long with no break - and that could spell trouble when it comes to injures.
"I played when I was younger," said Jordan Holmes. "I used to play baseball, football, and basketball, at one time."
Although Jordan Holmes was an all around athlete, he favored basketball. He's just a sophomore in high school and already familiar with injuries.
"This year I hurt my knee and had to stretch it out and last year my lower back," Holmes said.
Brett Sears of Capital Region Physical Therapy said, "Children are becoming ultraspecialized in their sport and sometimes they are not getting a variety. It's basketball, basketball, basketball, 12 months a year or soccer, soccer, soccer all of the time."
Too much of any one thing can lead to overuse.
Sears said, "We have been seeing a lot of student athletes in the clinic after injury who have lost weeks or months at their sport because of an injury."
It's called the Preseason Sports Program. Brett Sears, a physical therapist, works with young athletes before the season begins. They work on preventing injuries and targeting problem areas.
Sears said, "In the clinic we see junior high school age kids and high school age kids who are developing either repetitive strain injures, knee pain, shoulder pain. The tennis player with over hand serve that is starting to develop this repetitive strain in the shoulder."
After they have gone through an assessment, there is workout program that is developed specific to their sport. In Jordan's case, basketball. He's put through the drills to improve his jumping, his landing, his balance and strength.
Sears said, "They're getting muscular co-contraction around the lower extremities, the ankle, knee and hip."
The training program not only makes prevent injuries, it can make a better athlete.
"I always wanted, when I get older, to be able to dunk, so I can say, yes, I can do it," said Holmes.