The Child Athlete and Chiropractic Care
In this video I am addressing the child athlete and the importance of taking care of their body at a young age and throughout the sports they are playing.
I think we can all agree that childhood sports are a really heathy pastime. There are a lot of other things children and teens can be doing that aren’t as healthy. Sports often teach healthy habits like movement, discipline and social engagement that are all great for development.
One thing I do see with most child athletes is they are constantly going from one sport to another. The child might be going from sport to sport or maybe they love a specific sport and do it year around with camps and playing with friends. Again, this is a really healthy pastime but it is important to note that these children are typically doing the same movements time and time again. It is important that they are doing them proper and without restriction.
To give you an example, I have a 14 year old female patient that is in three different sports. She goes from one to the next with little time in between. She plays volleyball, pitches for her softball team and is on the basketball team. There is a trend with all three of these sports and that is one side dominance. In volleyball she is using her right arm to serve and spike, in softball she is throwing and pitching with her right side, and in basketball she is dribbling, passing and shooting with her right. Her mother brought her in with concerns of her right shoulder being higher than her left and her overall posture seemed “off.” The athlete didn’t have much “pain” per say and that wasn’t the main complaint. A 14 year old can handle or doesn’t care much about pain, they care more about continuing the sport. However, it was causing a significant change in her posture. This female athlete is 14 years old and has more years of sports to go, as she wants to play at the college level as well. If this didn’t get addressed it is likely it is something that would carry through and cause pain and improper posture down the road as an adult.
One main thing that is addressed here at Premier Chiropractic, with athletes of all ages, is proper range of motion. All joints are made to move and articulate with each other in a specific way. If the joint gets partial restriction your body can’t move as well. When the young athlete goes to throw or move in a certain way and a joint is restricted they will likely find a way to compensate. This creates a pattern that is less than desirable for athletic performance. A main reason professional athletes seek chiropractic care is to prevent injury from happening and to boost athletic performance. Chiropractic care helps with movement, stability, balance, coordination, and maximizes strength; all of which help boost athletic performance. Anything from throwing a football better to doing a backbend in gymnastics or dance can be done easier with proper joint movement.
Another thing to note is that during practices you have an abundance of children to coaches. If you watch practice you see many children doing the “drill” and it is hard to make sure everyone is doing it properly. At the age of 6 or even 16 there are more kids doing the movements improperly than there are doing them properly. Small tweaks in exercise can make all the difference. During the exam we make sure to take note of sports the child is involved in and the movements that are being done in properly. We have an area where the child or teen can show us what they are typically doing and we can make changes to movement to improve outcome.
Our office has three chiropractors all trained to care for the young athlete of any age. All three have slightly different training so make sure to mention the age of the child or anything specifically going on and we will be sure to match your child with the right doctor to meet their specific needs. We look forward to seeing you and your child in our office.
-Dr. Becky Perry-Domres,