Chiropractic Treatment and The Immune System

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer, or Little League team is an important rite of passage for many kids, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body conditioning needed for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

“The majority, if not all, sports are good, provided that the child prepares appropriately,” says Dr. Carl Heigl, president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness. “Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.”

Highly competitive sports such as football, gymnastics and wrestling follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager.

The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports-related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up, stretching and weight-lifting exercises are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz, an ACA member from Silver Spring, Maryland, and former member of the U.S. Summer Olympics medical team. “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.”

“Young athletes should begin with a slow jog to warm up the legs and arms and stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids involved in football, baseball, gymnastics and swimming should develop a routine that includes strengthening exercises for the abdomen, the low-back muscles, arms and shoulders.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital. “A student athlete may need to drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water for proper absorption. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day. Also, eating a healthy meal before and after practice or a game allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body,” adds Dr. Horwitz.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Avoid high-fat foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Drink water
  • Drink milk
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks
  • Follow a warm-up routine
  • Take vitamins daily
  • Avoid trendy supplements
  • Get plenty of rest—Sluggishness, irritability and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…

Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation today!

 

Chiropractic Treatment: Backpacks and Back Pain

Maybe you have more important things to worry about. Yes, it may lead to back pain, but it’s not like carrying a heavy backpack with a lot of school books can cause serious illnesses, like scoliosis – as far as we know.

Still, carrying a heavy backpack can cause your child to suffer from chronic shoulder, neck and back pain.

Is carrying a heavy backpack to school causing health problems for your kids? It might be. Are they carrying more than 10-20% of their body weight in their backpack? And do they tend to carry their backpack on only one shoulder? If so, chances are their backpack is causing some health problems.

Fortunately, the fashion of carrying a backpack on only one shoulder seems to be fading. On a visit to The University of Texas at Austin, I saw that most students had their backpacks strapped over both shoulders, instead of the single shoulder look that was ‘fashionable’ in my day. Also, some backpacks now come with wheels, which allow the student to roll the bag rather than carry it.

  • Does your child complain of back pain?
  • Does your child walk bent over sideways to try to adjust for the heavy load of a backpack?
  • Does your child complain of numbness and tingling in his arms or hands?
  • Does your child carry more than 10-20% of her body weight in her backpack?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you might want to take some steps to minimize the chances that carrying a backpack will cause your child back pain or other health problems. 

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

Sources:

Iannelli, Vincent MD – Wondering Whether Your Child’s Backpack Is Too Heavy? – 25-Sept-2016
Leffert RD – Orthop Clin North Am – 01-Apr-2000; 31(2): 331-45