Preparing Your Child for School Sports

Sports are a great way to stay active and healthy and to learn valuable life lessons, but participation comes with an element of risk. To keep your child safe, you probably make sure they have the right shoes and protective equipment, learn the best form, eat the right diet, and get their annual physical. Yet, you may have neglected a critical step — a chiropractic check-up.

As an experienced sports chiropractor, Dr. Dana Robinson at Peninsula RSI Chiropractic Wellness Center not only treats athletes’ injuries, she helps prevent them. You may think of chiropractors as doctors who deal with back pain, and while that’s true, there’s so much more to chiropractic care, including sports injury prevention.

The link between chiropractic care and athletics

Every time you move, a series of complex functions takes place in your body. Although kicking a soccer ball or swinging a tennis racquet may look like a simple act involving just the arm or leg in motion, those feats actually engage a complicated network of nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones throughout the entire body.

The art and science of chiropractic care is making sure all those elements work in harmony with one another. If any part of your body is out of balance or out of alignment, it throws every movement off and adds extra stress and pressure to body parts that weren’t meant to carry the load — ideal conditions for an injury.

Biomechanical assessment

When your child is gearing up for a sports season, you can give them a significant advantage by allowing Dr. Robinson to perform a biomechanical assessment. By observing your child’s gait (the way they walk), performance of certain movements, and analyzing leg length, angular relationships, hip function, and range of motion, Dr. Robinson can determine whether your child’s musculoskeletal system is putting them at risk for injury.

In addition to preventing injuries, a biomechanical assessment can lead to better performance, strength, speed, agility, and endurance. 

Balance training

When you see a person flailing unnecessarily when playing sports, you might use the term “uncoordinated.” What you’re really observing is a lack of balance that leads to inefficient body movements.

Your balance headquarters is in your ears and eyes. When they sense you’ve tilted your head and identify your relationship to the ground, your nerves send a message to your brain to make adjustments, and your muscles respond. 

Similarly, proprioception is when your musculoskeletal system detects your body’s location and position, as well as shifts in body weight, wind direction or velocity, terrain, or unexpected events, like a ball suddenly hit in your direction. The best athletes have an impeccable sense of balance that not only enhances their performance, but also helps them avoid injuries.

At Peninsula RSI Chiropractic Wellness Center, Dr. Robinson can teach your child to develop better balance. Our balance training helps your athlete become more aware of their body mass in relationship to their support system (feet and legs). Because it’s hard to isolate and acquire these skills in the heat of competition, it’s beneficial to learn them in a controlled environment. 

We focus on static balance and posture, which are the foundation of proper body mechanics, then progress into dynamic balance, which involves footwork, agility, and sport-specific movements. By repeating these exercises over time, they become automatic, so the next time your child is in a game, they won’t have to think about balance; it becomes an innate skill.

Give your child every advantage by preparing their body for the rigors of sports this season. Call us today or request an appointment online to schedule a biomechanical assessment and balance training session.

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