As gymnasts know, bars, beams, mats, and vaults can bring gold medals and trophies. But they can also bring injuries and setbacks. Parents, gymnasts, and coaches all know the frustrations caused by sitting on the sidelines. To keep injuries at bay, gymnasts must take a proactive approach to their health, not a reactive one. Therefore, regularly visiting a family chiropractor is a great way to minimize injuries while improving performance.
The Lowdown on Sports Injuries
Many children participate in sports, whether that’s recreational soccer, flag football, or joining a school’s competitive team. While children need exercise to stay healthy, it’s also critical that they play it safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says over 2.5 million children and teenagers receive care each year for recreational and sports injuries. Musculoskeletal injuries, such as those that develop in contact sports and non-contact sports like gymnastics, are the most common. These injuries are caused by repetitive motions, overuse, and forceful impacts. Once an injury sets in, it can take weeks or months to heal. At worst, an injury can cause your child to miss an entire season!
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
If a medical professional becomes involved in a gymnast’s care, it’s usually at the end to treat an injury or provide physical therapy. However, scheduling routine visits with a chiropractor can reduce the number of trips your child makes to a doctor for injury care.
Chiropractors are an excellent resource for injury prevention, as they are aware of the specific physical stresses that gymnastics puts on the body. They also know how to keep injuries at bay using various prevention strategies. A pediatric chiropractor focuses on properly aligning the spinal cord, improving flexibility, and building strength. Working on all three of these areas helps a gymnast perform at his or her best and wards off problems. A chiropractor can also look for subluxations (damage) to the spine caused by stress or injury and recommend a course of action to restore proper motion and nervous system function.
By nature, gymnastics is a weight-bearing activity characterized by repetitive motions. Day after day, exposure to the sport’s weight-bearing forces can easily take a toll on the body. By keeping a gymnast’s spinal cord properly aligned, a family chiropractor also keeps other body parts such as the ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders aligned. Since these joints are also susceptible to injury in gymnasts, keeping them in proper position reduces the risk of overuse and fatigue, which in turn can lead to injury.
From hours of practice at the gym to competitions, gymnasts put a considerable amount of time and effort into their sport. At Pure Family Chiro, we are here to ensure your gymnast stays healthy and performing at his or her best. Visit our website today to learn how regular appointments with a pediatric chiropractor keep your child in top shape.