Implement an Injury Prevention Program

What length would you go to in order to prevent an injury to your child? Most parents would say “I’d do whatever it takes.” What if you could save a significant amount of money and protect your child?

Common injuries in youth sports and recreational play include:
• Sprains where ligaments connect to bones, such as an ankle sprain
• Tendon and muscle strains, such as a hamstring strain
• Tears in ligaments and cartilage, such as meniscus and ACL tears in the knee

Fortunately, 50-80 percent of these injuries can be prevented simply by implementing an Injury Prevention Program into their normal training routines. If the possibility of preventing an injury to your child isn’t enough, here are three more reasons to implement a program for your young athlete:

Saving Money

The cost of surgery and rehab for an injury, such as an ACL tear, could add up to thousands of dollars! 200,000+ ACL injuries occur each year and can take up to 12 months to rehabilitate, resulting in time off school, sports, and work. Who wouldn’t want to save thousands in medical bills and time lost?

A Rise in Sport Specialization

Not many years ago, student athletes would often play multiple sports during the school year and take summers off. It is becoming more common for student athletes to commit to a single sport early on in their athletic careers and train for this sport year-round. One would think this would be beneficial to progressing quickly as an athlete and gaining scholarships. However, the research disagrees. The Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine reports an association between “early single sport specialization and overuse injuries,” as well as higher rates of burnout and even foregoing sports altogether. With the growing number of single-sport athletes, Injury Prevention Programs are becoming more and more critical to keep our kids safe, happy, and injury free.

Prevention Programs Produce Stronger Athletes

Dedicating time during the off-season or pre-season to specific Injury Prevention Programs can save money, keep our young athletes injury free and can keep them in the game. Prevention programs that specifically target hip, ankle, and core stability not only prevent injury and pain, but can also make the student a more fit, well-rounded athlete at the
start of the season. Completing prevention programs as a team leads to better team bonding and athletes that are ready to go on day one of the season.  

Injury prevention programs generally consist of mobility, strength training, plyometrics, and sport specific agility training to address strength deficits and stabilization of muscles in specific areas. If saving money, reducing injuries, and keeping our athletes in the games is important to you, I encourage you to consider implementing an Injury Prevention Program for your athlete or team!

written by Dr. Rhianna Wickett, PT, DPT, CSCS
 Co-Owner Elevate Performance