As the dog days of summer come to an end, it’s time to start preparing for a new school year and the return of sports activities. Whether your teen has been playing sports since they could walk or is a newcomer to the game, the following steps help you proactively approach their safety and well-being as they prepare for back-to-school sports.
We understand the importance of sports injury prevention and proper preparation at Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada. Here are three steps to prepare your teen for a new sports season:
Step 1: Schedule a sports physical
Most organized sports activities require your teenager to get a sports physical. Teen sports physicals evaluate your teenager’s overall health and identify any underlying medical conditions that may pose a risk during physical activity.
Your primary care provider is well-equipped to conduct comprehensive physical exams, assessing cardiovascular health, musculoskeletal strength, and flexibility. This step helps identify potential issues before your teen hits the field, court, pool, or track.
During the physical exam, your healthcare professionals review your teen's medical history, perform a thorough physical assessment, and provide guidance on injury prevention strategies.
We may also recommend conditioning exercises and proper nutrition to enhance your teen's performance and minimize the risk of sports-related injuries. Remember, a sports physical is an excellent opportunity to address your concerns and ensure your teen's readiness for physical activity.
Step 2: Encourage warm-up and cool-down exercises
Warming up before physical activity with stretching exercises can help prevent sports injuries. Warm-up exercises increase blood flow, improve flexibility, and prepare the body for the demands of physical activity.
Stretching helps reduce the risk of muscle strains, sprains, and other common sports injuries. Dynamic stretches like arm circles, lunges, and leg swings engage multiple muscle groups and mimic your teenager's movements during their sports activity.
It’s a good idea for your teen to increase their physical activity in the days leading up to their sports practices to prepare their body and reduce their risk of injuries.
If your teen experiences a sports injury, our compassionate and board-certified sports medicine team can diagnose and treat the injuries by appointment or through our Fast Track Clinic.
Step 3: Invest in sports equipment and gear
Ensure your teenager has the proper sports equipment and gear for their sport. Outdated or ill-fitting gear can increase the risk of injury while having the appropriate protective gear like helmets, mouthguards, and other protective equipment specific to the sport can reduce the risk of injuries.
Remind your teenager to wear their protective gear consistently during practices, games, and training sessions.
As your teen prepares to return to the school sports scene, taking these three important steps can help minimize their risk of injuries and maximize their athletic potential. By scheduling a pre-participation physical exam, encouraging proper warm-up and stretching routines, and ensuring they have the right sports equipment, you're setting the stage for a successful and safe sports season.
At Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center, our dedicated medical team is here to support your teen's journey in sports. Call us today or schedule an appointment online at our Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada, office. Let's work together to ensure your teen enjoys a healthy and fulfilling athletic experience this school year.