Whether you love delivering the perfect touchdown pass or shooting the perfect slap shot, athletes should always be careful when playing contact sports. Paying attention to the body’s signals is absolutely necessary, and every athlete should be aware of the effects that sports can have on heads, shoulders, hips, knees, and spines.
Contact sports injuries. All sports carry some risk of injuries, which is precisely why safety gear – helmets, pads, and gloves – are often mandatory. Sprains and swollen muscles are all common sports-related injuries. In the case of contact sports, there are critical injuries to consider:
- Severe shoulder, elbow, low back pain and upper back pain
Children and contact sports
According to a recent Globe and Mail article, approximately three to five children in Canada – out of every 1,000 – suffer a concussion as a result of contact sports each year. As with most contact sport-related injuries, concussions are avoidable if players and parents take necessary precautions – like wearing protective gear – into account.
It’s also important to know when a child is ready to play a contact sport:
Age. 14 is the right age for most children to start playing contact sports. Around this age, most children have started puberty, meaning that their bodies are almost fit to handle the physicality of contact sports.
Height and weight. Most children at 14 are also tall and heavy enough to engage in contact sports. At 14, most boys are 5’3” and weigh approximately 112 pounds, while most girls are 5’2” and weigh an average of 109 pounds.
Experience level. Children begin playing sports at different ages; therefore, some children enter a contact sport with years of experience, while some enter with days of experience. It is important to make sure that children are playing at their right level.
Treating contact sports injuries
The first step in treating a contact sport injury is always the same: consult a doctor or chiropractor. Athletes often fail to report their injuries, which can cause avoidable pain and stress on the body. Sometimes, consulting a doctor means immediately going to a hospital.
- Some small injuries can also be initially treated by using the PRICE method:
- Protect the injured area.
- Rest the injured area – don’t strain it.
- Ice the injured area by applying an icepack.
- Compress by slowly tightening and releasing the injured area using a bandage wrap or compression sock.
- Elevate the area to reduce swelling.
How Alberta Back and Neck & Sports Injuries can help
We at Alberta Back and Neck & Sports Injuries specialize in treating sports injuries. We begin by treating acute injuries, by reducing inflammation and pain. Then we restore normal functions, while rebuilding strength. Finally, we work on returning patients back to a play-ready state.
Contact us as soon as you detect the onset of pain; it can become worse the longer you spend ignoring it. Learn more about our sports injury treatment procedures, about the shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, whiplash, and spinal clinic services we offer in Calgary.