Is your little one an aspiring Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan or Mia Ham? Participating in athletics is a phenomenal way for kids to stay in shape, meet new friends and learn to work as a team. However, sports are not without risk.
As a preventive-care specialist, Dr. Rorio is concerned about the alarming rate of sports-related injury among youths. Read on to learn if your child is at risk – and how to ward off injuries before they land your youngster on the sidelines.
Think your child is immune from a serious sports-related injury? Think again. According to a review of 16,997 emergency room (ER) visits in 496 hospitals, injury is a common occurrence among young athletes.
The study’s authors estimate that 2.6 million sports-related ER visits each year involve children or young adults – accounting for more than 68 percent of all sports’ injuries treated in the ER and 20 percent of all ER visits for patients between the ages of five and 24. Males in this age group are more than twice as likely to require emergency care for a sports’ injury, compared with females, according to researchers. Basketball and cycling are the most common causes of sports’ injuries (Annals of Emergency Medicine 2001;37:301-8).
Most children with sports’ injuries don’t end up in the ER. Some injuries are more insidious and may not involve immediate pain.
For example, chiropractors often care for youngsters with a spinal condition called vertebral subluxation – a disorder that may be triggered by impact activities, such as sports.
Vertebral subluxation occurs when spinal movement is restricted, or when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) become misaligned. Young athletes may develop vertebral subluxations from a myriad of sports activities, such as sliding into home base, jumping to block a soccer goal, landing from a handspring, improperly swinging a golf club or tackling a football opponent. Jarring motions to the spine, such as those produced by sprinting on hard ground, may also trigger this common ailment.
Vertebral subluxations are associated with a variety of health problems. Scientific research links this condition with a bolstered risk of ear infection, headache, neck pain, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
What’s most frightening about vertebral subluxations is that they don’t always produce immediate symptoms. Pain may take months, or even years, to manifest itself although a loss of function may occur much earlier.
Fortunately, you can keep your child subluxation-free by scheduling him or her for regular chiropractic checkups. During the checkups, your youngster’s spine will be evaluated for signs of vertebral subluxation. If subluxations are detected, Dr. Borio will work to correct them using gentle and safe maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments – specially customized for pediatric patients. In addition, Dr. Borio will discuss strategies for preventing sportsrelated injuries with your child.
Those purple high-tops with the “air c lls” and loosely-tied florescent laces may look hip, but the injuries they aggravate are anything but cool. Many of the footwear styles popular with today’s youths provide little protection. Lack of cushioning increases the risk of impact-related injuries such as stress fracture and shin splints. Flimsy arch support allows the foot to roll inward, in turn disrupting the alignment of the leg, knee and hips. Skewed posture in the lower limbs results in a disproportionate allocation of force on joints during walking or running – spurring injury. Shoes with “air cell” soles also fail to properly distribute pressure. Because the hips are connected to the spine, inadequate footwear may even spawn vertebral subluxations and back pain.
Reduce your child’s risk of injury by investing in quality athletic shoes prior to each season. Look for sneakers with adequate cushioning and arch support. Some children also benefit from custom-made inserts. Other young athletes require braces or taping. (Ask your chiropractor for specific recommendations geared to your child’s unique foot type.)
Lack of safety equipment and faulty equipment are major causes of childhood sports’ injuries. While most coaches insist on using appropriate equipment during organized practices, many youngsters fail to use such safe guards when practicing on their own.
Be adamant that your children AL WAYS use safety gear while practicing. To ensure this occurs, make your wishes known to the respective coaches. Most importantly, don’t forget to set a good example. Always wear a helmet while bicycling, strap on shin guards while scrimmaging with your kids and use protective gear for all your sports endeavors.
Stretching is another good “follow my example” suggestion for parents. Stretching – before and after exercise – is crucial for anyone wishing to avoid a sports-related injury. You wouldn’t think of starting your car on a cold moming and not letting it warm up for a few minutes before zooming off. Doesn’t your body deserve an appropriate warm-up too?
To keep your children injury-free during the sports’ season, keep them active throughout the off-season. Just like adults, a dramatic increase in children’s workout intensity will spur muscle strain. Unfortunately, the drastic cutbacks in many schools’ physical education curriculums have resulted in poor-quality programs
or no programs at all. So, enroll your children in exercise classes when they aren’t playing sports. Or, make a point to exercise with your children several days a week. Maintain your youngsters’ interest by scheduling a variety of activities with other families, such as hikes, bike rides and softball games.
Say “Goodnight” to Injury
Adhering to a strict bedtime schedule may not only keep children yawnfree but injury-free as well.
According to Dr. Fabio Barbone and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, sleep deprivation increases a child’s odds of injury (Pediatrics 2001;1O7:e23).
As part of the analysis, researchers studied 292 injured children in Italy.
“We found that children, especially boys ages 3 to 5, who don’t get enough sleep are at significantly greater risk for injuries,” said Dr. Barbone. “We also found that children who have been awake for at least eight hours without sleep or a nap are four times more likely to suffer an injury.”
When it comes to childhood sports, an attitude that de-emphasizes winning is a true winning attitude. Parents and coaches who stress winning over having fun set young athletes on a collision course with anxiety and emotional problems. This psychological stress also predisposes youngsters to physical mJury.
It’s also important to allow children to have input into what sports they play and not force them to play any particular sport. Expose your youngsters to a variety of athletic activities and encourage them to choose those they fmd most exciting.
Size ‘Em Up
Extramural sports organizations tend to divide would-be athletes into teams according to chronological age or grade level. However, this delineation may be hazardous for children who are small for their age or young for their grade level. So, make every effort to enroll your child in a team that includes children of the same size and maturity level.
For More Information. . .
Have questions about how to keep your little one free from sports’ injury? Ask your chiropractor to provide specific recommendations custom-tailored for your child.
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (www.nyssf.org or 1617-277-1171) is another wonderful resource for parents and child athletes. The Foundation offers thorough, research-based fact sheets on specific sports and sports-related health concerns (available for $2 per fact sheet).
Schedule An Injury Prevention Seminar for Your Child’s Team
This office is committed to preventing childhood sports’ injuries. To this end, we offer young patients pediatric sports checkups. If your child, or a child you love, is involved in athletics, schedule him or her for a checkup today!
In addition, the doctor offers sportsinjury prevention seminars for parents and youngsters. Ask at the front desk about scheduling a seminar for your child’s team.
Jogging and Walking for Optimal Health
As a preventive health-care specialist, Dr. Borio encourages patients to commit to regular physical exercise. However, due to today’s hectic lifestyles, many patients have difficulty squeezing a fitness program into their frenzied schedules. That’s why Dr. Borio suggests that busy patients take up jogging or power-walking.
Why are jogging and walking ideal for people on.the go? First, these sports require no equipment (apart from a good pair of sneake!,s). And, because they may be done almost anywhere at anytime, these activities fit into even the most saturated of schedules. And here’s another bonus: unlike gym memberships and exercise classes, jogging and running don’t cost a cent. So, whether you’re a jet-setting executive or a carpool-juggling parent, jogging or running may be the workout solution you’ve been searching for.
Still not convinced that walking or running is for you? Read on to learn about late-breaking scientific research Dr. Borio has compiled on the benefus of these sports.
Walking and running may not only improve your life, but may also extend it.
According to a just-published analysis of 4,658 Danish men, jogging on a regular basis may help you live longer. As part of the study, researchers looked at men who are enrolled in the ongoing Copenhagen City Heart Study. At the study’s onset, 217 subjects reported jogging on a regular basis. After five years, 96 of the original joggers were still at it – and 106 men had taken up the sport.
After controlling for factors such as such as smoking, weight, blood pressure, diabetes, household income, education, alcohol consumption and cholesterol level, the authors determined that persistent joggers were 63% less likely to die, compared with non-joggers, those who had discontinued jogging, or who had recently taken up the sport (British Medical Journal 2000;321 :602-3).
Scientific evidence also shows that walking can have a profound impact on your life expectancy. One study, which tracked 107 retired men for 12 years, found that, “the mortality rate among the men who walked less than one mile (1.6 kill) per day was nearly twice that among those who walked more than two miles (3.2 kill) per day.” (New England Journal of Medicine 1998;338:94-9.)
Cut Cancer and Heart Disease Risk
A plethora of scientific studies indicate that regular physical activity, such as jogging or walking, can dramatically reduce a person’s risk of heart disease and cancer.
For example, one study tracked 1,564 women for 30 years. Findings revealed that women who walked
over six miles a week were 33% less. likely to develop heart disease, compared with their more sedentary peers (American Journal of Epidemiology 1999;150:408-16). Another study, which enrolled 6,017 men, showed that walking more than 40 minutes a day slashes the risk of high blood pressure – a major risk factor of heart disease – by 29% (Annals of Internal Medicine 1999;131:21-6).
Research also indicates that regular physical exercise prevents several types of cancer.
Are you tossing and turning all night long? A daily jog or stroll may help you get your z’s. It seems that walking and running fend off insomnia. As part of one study, scientists looked at 319 men and 403 women. Findings showed that subjects who engaged in regular physical exercise, including walking or jogging, had a significantly reduced risk of sleep disorders (Archives of Internal Medicine 1998;158: 1894-8).
Walking or jogging on a regular basis may not only boost your physical health, but may also keep your mind in top shape. People who exercise regularly enjoy increased cognitive performance. And, according to a report highlighted at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in April 1998, exercise may also ward off Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study, which evaluated 126 Alzheimer’s patients and 247 healthy control subjects, people who engage in fitness programs such as walking and running slash their risk of developing the mind-robbing disease.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
A brisk 30-minute walk or jog three times a week may be just as effective at relieving major depression as antidepressant medications, according to a Duke University Medical Center study.
Researchers assigned 156 elderly patients with major depression to one of three groups: exercise, sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft@), or a combination of exercise and sertraline hydrochloride. To die surprise of the researchers, after 16 weeks all three groups showed similar improvement.
“One of the conclusions we can draw from this is that exercise may be just as effective as medication and may be a better alternative for certain patients,” said lead researcher, James Blumenthal. “Simply taking a pill is very passive. Pati nts ho exercised may have felt a grecYter sense of mas tery over their condition and gaii1ed,, greater sense of accoJllplishment. They felt more self-confident and had better self-esteem because they were able to do it themselves, and attributed their improvement t04heir(j,bifity to exercise.” (Archives of Internal Medicine 1999;159:2349-2356.)
Running or power-walking nearly halves a woman’s risk of type II diabetes, according to a new study. Investigators compared the benefits of moderate physical activity, such as power-walking, to vigorous physical activity, such as jogging. The analysis included 70,102 women aged 40 to 65 years. All subjects were free of diabetes at the study’s onset.
After eight years, 2% of the participants had developed type II diabetes. After controlling for various risk factors of diabetes, researchers concluded that women who engaged in the highest levels of vigorous ph sical activity, such as jogging, cut their odds of developing type II diabetes by 46%, compared with nonexercisers. Women who engaged in moderate activities, including walking, enjoyed a 42% lower risk (Journal of the American Medical Association 1999;282: 1433-9).
Use the Buddy System
Need help staying motivated to run or walk? Consider forming a workout club or a partnership with a workout buddy.
Here’s another reason to walk or run with pals: it’s fun. Group activities provide an opportunity to create new friends and catch up with old ones. And not only is it fun, but it also could make you smarter; scientific research suggests that group exercise has a beneficial effect on cognitive functionJAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 1997;21:45-52). Plus, working out with buddies offers an added element of safety over solitary strolliflg or jogging – an special comforting feature if you workout after dark.
Before Hitting the Pavement, Visit Your Doctor of Chiropractic
Before initiating a jogging or walking program – or any fitness end avor – it’s essential to treat yourself to a chiropractic evaluation. Doctors of hiropractic ary prevention experts attd, as such, can provide winning advice on how to ward off jogging- or walking- related inJuries. This advice may include suggestions about proper footwear, stretching, nutrition, motivation, ,training programs and postural health.
Why is postural health important for joggers and walkers? Because many sport’s injuries result from postural imbalances. Postural discrepancies in the back or hips may ‘jack up” one leg, causing a disproportionate amount of force on that leg’s knee and foot during jogging or walking, triggering injury. Often, misaligned spinal segments called vertebral subluxations are the root of these postural imbalances.
Doctors of chiropractic eliminate vertebral subluxations with gentle and effective maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments. Sci ntific research shows that chiropractic adjustments safely and effectively correct vertebral subluxations, in turn staving off the injuries associated with them.
So, before lacing up those new sneakers, follow the example of a growing number of professional and Olympic athletes who are enjoying increased performance and fewer injuries thanks to chiropractic care – schedule an appointment for a chiropractic checkup today!
Study Shows Painkillers Don’t Ease Post- Workout Ache
A new study confirms what chiropractors who care for athletes have long suspected: painkillers don’t relieve post-workout muscle soreness.
Dr. Borio often cares for patients with sports injuries. And, as a prevention specialist, Dr. Borio advises these patients to avoid unnecessary medication and opt instead for all-natural therapies. That’s why Dr. Borio encourages patients to familiarize themselves with the new study outlined below.
Who conducted the study?
The report, Managing DelayedOnset Muscle Soreness: Lack of Selected Oral Systemic Analgesics, was conducted by researchers at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and Coventry University in the United Kingdom.
Who was enrolled in the study?
The experiment recruited 30 men and 30 women, aged 19 to 35 years. All of the volunteers were free of disease or injury. None of the subjects had suffered a recent trauma or had a recent history of painkiller or steroid use.
How did researchers evaluate the painkiller’s effectiveness?
The study participants lifted a dumbbell repeatedly to exhaust the biceps muscle in one arm.
The volunteers were then allocated to one of five treatment groups: (1) “control” (no treatment), (2) placebo, (3) aspirin, (4) codeine and (5) acetaminophen (the active ingredient in drugs such as Tylenol@). Drugs were given in doses commonly prescribed for muscle pain. Treatment lasted 11 days. Throughout the study period, several standard orthopedic tests were used to evaluate patients for delayed onset muscle soreness (DaMS). Subjects also refrained from consuming alcohol, caffeine and other drugs during the experiment.
What were the results of the experiment?
Findings revealed that none of the drugs were effective at preventing or alleviating muscle ache, compared with no treatment.
“There is no beneficial effect from the medications, at least at the doses stated, in the management of delayed-onset muscle soreness,” wrote the study’s authors. “Furthermore, none of the medications showed any significant beneficial effect on any of the other symptoms of DOMS.”
How can I obtain a copy of the report?
The report appears in the July issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Most chiropractic and medical school libraries carry this journal. You may also access the study’s abstract at the journal’s Web site at www.archives-pmr.org. A copy of the July 2000 edition (in which the article appears) may be ordered at this site, or by calling 1215-238-7800. When ordering, you will need the article’s full citation: Arch Phys Med Rehabil2000 Jul; 81 (7):966-72.
Chiropractic improves sports Performance
A couple of studies have shown that chiropractic care improves sports performance. The first study was highlighted in Chiropractic: The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical lnvesfigation [1991; 6:84-87].
Fifty athletes were divided into two groups, one rec fving chiropractic care and the other serving as a control group. The athletes were then tested in 11 different areas such as agility, balance, perception of body movement, power, and reaction time that measured their athletic abilities.
After six weeks, the control group only measured minor changes in 8 of the 11 tests while the group under chiropractic care improved significantly in all 11.
In a test of hand reaction time, the control group improved less than 1 % after six weeks while the chiropractic group improved 18%. At 12 weeks, the chiropractic group improved more than 30%.
The second study was reported in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research [Vol. 1 No.4. 1997].; Before the test, 20 college baseball players were tested on their athletic abilities such as the vertical jump, standing broad jump, muscle strength and physiological tests such as electrocardiogram, blood pressure, pulse rate and treadmill stress testing.
After being divided into two groups, one receiving chiropratic care and the other not, the two groups were retested at six weeks and again at fourteen weeks. The chiropractic group showed significant improvement over the control group.
Perhaps most importantly, the chiropractic group showed significant improvement in capillary count which helps improve the flow of blood and oxygen to muscles under exercise load.
Working Out and Sports: Playing it Safe
Daily stress, aerobic activities that push the body to its outer limits, and lifting weights put abnormal amounts of stress on bones, muscles and joints. Full speed collisions, falls to the ground, and head and limbs being rammed, pulled and twisted beyond their normal ranges. Even seemingly normal, easy, or moderate exercise. What are some of the damaging effects of this punishment, how likely are you to develop problems or be seriously injured, and how can you be sure you are performing at your optimum?
The development, growth and function of our bodies is directed and controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Luckily the brain is in a vault of bone. However, although the spinal cord and spinal nerves are also protected by the bones of the spinal column, these bones are freely moveable and can become damaged or misaligned easily. This creates pressure and interference to the spinal cord and nerves that will result in obscured growth, improper development, and poorer function.
When the muscles and joints are not working properly, they will become less flexible, weaker and more likely to become injured or deteriorate into arthritic or degenerative conditions. This pressure and interference causes decreased nerve supply to the tissues, organs, and systems of the body. This leads to impaired body functions, a loss of proper alertness, a lack of concentration and lowered energy. These problems will slow down results in your exercise routine, cause a poorer performance in sports, the classroom, or at work. A body functioning below normal capacity will have a lower resistance to infection or illness.
Chiropractors analyze the spine for the detection and correction of spinal misalignment called vertebral subluxation. A spine out of its proper alignment is much more prone to serious damage. Chiropractic adjustments align the spine and remove nerve interference, thus restoring proper health and optimum function. This makes you freer from illness, safer from injury, and allows you to perform at your best without the use of drugs or surgery. This is why the top professional and Olympic athletes get adjusted, and why millions of parents seek chiropractic for themselves and their families each year as a safer, natural form of health care.