Did you know that good, strong posture is extremely important for athletes in order to prevent injuries from occurring and to maximize their performance? “Postural strength and coordination are essential for injury prevention and sports performance,” notes Thomas Harris, MD, in The Sports Medicine Guide.
The structure of the body works together as a whole, not in separate parts. If one area of the body is not balanced properly, it will affect the rest of the body. Improper biomechanics or muscle imbalances within the spine can lead to athletic injuries and poor sports performance.
When the spine is balanced and free from structural stress, the body’s nervous system and biomechanics are able to function at their fullest potential. According to the American Journal of Pain Management, “Posture affects and moderates every physiological function, from breathing to nervous system function.”
Tips for Keeping Good Postural Balance and Preventing Athletic Injuries in Your Young Athlete
● Practice Proper Technique in their sport. Discuss this with your child and alert the coach if your child needs assistance in learning what proper form looks like. Give them feedback on how they are performing.
● Proper Equipment. Your child should be properly fitted for the equipment they will be using all season long. This includes being fitted properly for shoes.
● Discuss the importance of not pushing themselves beyond their limits. Help them understand that they should stop and seek help if they ever experience pain. Often, young athletes will get hurt and continue playing on an injury that should be resting, leading to a longer recovery time and possibly more serious long-term consequences. Watch for signs like limping or changes in your child’s technique, indicating they are compensating for an injury. Early intervention can prevent serious problems in the future.
● Cross Train and incorporate multiple sports to help prevent putting too much stress on the same muscles and joints constantly. During practices, make sure your child is training his/her non-dominant side as well as the dominant side, so muscle imbalances do not develop.
● Stretching and warming up before activity is critical to injury prevention. Do not let your child skip this step. Get them to practice just a little earlier, so they can work this into their routine.
● Rest is extremely important for muscle repair and prevention of muscle fatigue. If your child is not getting enough hours of sleep each night for their age, they can be more susceptible to injury.
● Proper Nutrition and Hydration. Many kids do not want to hear about this, but the nutritional component can actually be their secret weapon. With good nutrients going into their bodies along with proper hydration, they will be maximizing their performance, energy, stamina and ability to heal, repair and build quality tissue quickly.
As we head into the fall’s busy school and athletic schedule, make sure to take the time to have your child’s body and spine evaluated regularly for imbalances, both before and after sporting events to minimize the effects of trauma and to maximize their performance. Our office at Taglio Chiropractic is always available to give advice, provide resources and implement gentle treatments to help get you and your family back on track, and once again participating in activities you love!
As a wife and mother of two active little boys, Dr. Taglio understands that life is busy and can easily get out of balance. She knows how important healthy habits are in maintaining a healthy family. She is committed to addressing the whole body and takes a multi-pronged approach to improving the function of the nervous system, by removing nerve interference through chiropractic, addressing nutritional components and incorporating neuromuscular re-education to maintain spinal health and stability. She has made it her mission to help people not only feel great, but also help them reach their highest potential, in whatever their endeavors are. She has a love for children and their healing through chiropractic and nutrition.
The opinions expressed here represent those of the author. California Family Fitness will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutrition or exercise program.