School has begun and so have many sports!!! This is the time we start seeing many injuries. Many kids have not been exercising and strengthening through the summer and now push as hard as possible to get back in shape quickly. This leads to injuries-knee injuries being one of the most common.
Here are helpful tips to prevent injuries from occuring.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Every extra pound of weight a child carries is 3-4 extra pounds of pressure on the knees.
- Keep your legs strong. Keeping those hamstrings and quadriceps strong and flexible to protect the joint surfaces of the knee. That means, DO THOSE LUNGES and SQUATS!!!!!
- Stretch, stretch, stretch. Make sure child stretches before exercising and spends 3-5 minutes minimum warming up muscles-jump rope, lunge, squat, arm circles, jumping jacks, etc.
- Wear proper shoes. Make sure shoes are supportive and have padding.
- Be aware of the type of surface child is exercising on. Uneven, hard surfaces increase risk for injury.
- Don’t overtrain when starting back into a sport. Give a day rest period in between working the area such as the knee and slowly increase weight and time. Some kids may not be given that option, so they should be training all year round to prepare for the sport.
If the child complains of knee pain, always have provider check for injury before resuming exercise.