Get Back Into the Game for Fall
Start on the right foot
About four to six weeks before the season starts is the perfect time to have a preparticipation physical examination (PPPE). “A PPPE can help detect any condition that may limit participation or predispose an athlete to injury. It also allows time for further evaluation and treatment,” says primary care sports medicine physician Richard Canlas, MD, with LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine–Health & Wellness Center in Hazleton.
Kids and adolescents are at risk for growth-plate fractures. These are areas of growing cartilage at the ends of long bones. For girls, growth plates usually close around ages 13 to 15, while boys’ growth plates close later, about ages 15 to 17.
Treatment involves resting and not bearing weight on the affected limb or limbs. “Often this means wearing a cast, splint or brace to prevent movement,” Canlas says. “Most growth plate injuries are successfully treated without long-term complications.”
Time training right
Conditioning should begin eight to 12 weeks prior to the new season, says Michael Cerimele, a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with LVHN Sports Academy. He recommends finding a reputable strength and conditioning program that includes:
Sports-specific conditioning efforts customized to boost your child’s speed, strength and agility
Certified and degreed coaches
Adequate rest and recovery
"Your child should also have two days off from training a week and get at least eight hours of sleep a night," says Cerimele.
Sprain vs. Strain
Sprain: Stretching or tearing of ligaments
Strain: Stretching or tearing of muscles/tendons
Initial treatment for both: RICE – rest, ice, compress, elevate
Encourage healthy habits
Licensed certified athletic trainer Jamie Scalise, with LVHN Athletic Training Services, shares insights about training, eating and hydrating in the summer.
Skip sugary snacks, eat complete meals.
Low-starch vegetables: lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers
Healthy starches: potatoes, rice Proteins: lean meats, poultry, fish
Fruit: whole fruit instead of juice
Beat the heat
Train earlier or later in the day when temperatures and humidity are lower.
Frequent fluid breaks prevent dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
16 ounces of water or sports drink with electrolytes every 20-30 minutes during activity
20-24 ounces afterward for every pound lost during exercise