8 Tips for a Problem-Free Fall Season
Where did the time go? For high school athletes who participate in fall sports such as football, cross country, soccer, cheerleading and more, the start of the season is just weeks away. So this is the ideal time for student-athletes—and those who love them—to map out strategies to avoid injuries and to encourage peak performance.
It’s also the opportune time to make sure you have an experienced and compassionate sports medicine specialist on your team so you’re prepared if an injury should occur. And when you are looking for a sports medicine expert in Ridgewood, NJ, and throughout Bergen County, Kayal Orthopaedic Center is the smart choice. When it comes to sports medicine, the elite team at Kayal Orthopaedic Center has the expertise to diagnose and treat the injuries and conditions that impede your progress on the field of competition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s with one out of every five school-aged children classified as obese today. Although many factors can contribute to the problem, eating too much and not exercising enough are among them. Obesity can lead to a number of life-threatening problems, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Organized sports (and other regular physical activity) are one of the answers to the obesity epidemic. In addition to helping keep children fit, participating in sports teaches them important lessons about discipline, teamwork, good sportsmanship and more.
Still, there’s always a chance of injury so it’s important to take as many precautions as possible. Here are some tips to minimize the risk of injury:
- Schedule a pre-season physical exam. Even if your school district does not require one, it’s still important to have your child thoroughly checked out by a physician before the season starts. These checkups can uncover asthma, allergies, injuries or other health conditions that should be monitored. If a problem is found, follow your doctor’s advice.
- Use proper equipment. Appropriate gear not only helps keep your child safe but also allows him or her to play to full potential. Equipment that is damaged or outdated can increase the risk of injury so it’s important to give equipment a pre-season checkup, too.
- Stretch. Stretching helps prepare your child’s muscles and joints for the challenges ahead. A good rule of thumb is to stretch major muscle groups for about 30 seconds each.
- Warm up and cool down. Another key to preventing injury is warming up and cooling down by engaging in low-impact exercise such as walking, jogging or taking a few practice throws or swings. These exercises make your child’s muscles less vulnerable to pulls and strains.
- Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Stress to your child not to wait until he or she is thirsty to drink water. It may be too late. Proper hydration helps prevent muscle cramps and more serious health issues such as exhaustion. Make sure your child also consumes sports drinks packed with sodium, potassium, carbohydrates and other nutrients to replenish busy bodies.
- Don’t play through pain. Stress with your child that it’s important to listen to his or her body. Pain is a signal that something could be wrong. Playing through pain could result in more serious injuries.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure the playing surface is safe and remind your child to take extra precautions when rain, snow or other conditions make playing fields more dangerous.
- Don’t overdo it. Many children today participate in several sports during the school year. It’s important for your child to take time to rest—and heal—whenever necessary.
If your student-athlete should experience pain or injury, Kayal Orthopaedic Center is suited up and ready to make the plays that will defeat the opposition and get your child back in the game as quickly and as safely as possible.
Dr. Robert A. Kayal and his elite team provide the full menu of orthopaedic services, including sports medicine in Paramus, NJ, and beyond. We’re located in Bergen County, NJ, and specialize in minimally invasive surgery, injury prevention, innovative therapies and pain management. We have three convenient offices in Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes and Westwood. To schedule a same-day appointment, call 844.777.0910; or contact Kayal Orthopaedic Center by filling out this form.