Back to School = Back to Sports

Summer is in full swing so now is the time to get ahead of the game and get fit for fall sports.  To be cleared to participate in sports, most student athletes are required to have a physical exam prior to the start of the season.  This medical screen is used to evaluate the athlete’s overall health and to determine any illnesses that could impact their participation on their school team.  Young athletes are usually very healthy, but the injuries they face during the fall season are often due to poor conditioning over the summer months and can be associated with movement dysfunction.  

The demands of athletics, such as repetitive stress, increased loads and long practices can lead to sprains and strains of muscles and joints, such as ACL tears, patellar tendonitis or shoulder labral tears.  A sports screen performed by a physical therapist at Stride is an excellent way to predict and prevent injury and recurring pain.  That means, less time on the sidelines and more playtime!!

Physical Therapists are the movement experts when it comes to assessing and improving function and sports performance, which makes them the ideal practitioners to perform a sports screen.  A Physical Therapist considers your past medical history, your sport and daily activities, past and present symptoms and your current concerns that you would like to be addressed. This information combined with a thorough movement assessment enables them to develop an individualized action plan to get you to your goal.

What Physical Therapists can assess:

  • Postural and muscle imbalances
  • Gait and/or running analysis
  • Muscle strength/control and flexibility/length
  • Factors that affect balance and coordination 
  • Functional or sport-specific movement dysfunction
  • Poor breathing patterns which can affect cardiovascular endurance and tissue function
  • Risk factors for injury

How the Stride Physical Therapists can help the student athlete

  • Teach how to properly load their growing bones/joints/muscles to reduce injury risk
  • Educate effective physical conditioning methods specific to sport – pre, post, and during the season to improve performance
  • Instruct on exercise modifications to help stay active while rehabilitating current injuries
  • Sport performance enhancement by instruction on how to achieve optimal sport specific movement patterns
  • Learn about faulty movement patterns that may lead to injury 
  • Improve core stability, balance, coordination
  • Improve strength, endurance and power
  • And most importantly…Improve longevity and participation in sport into adult life!

If you or someone you care for is gearing up for fall sports, contact Stride Physio and see a Physical Therapist today! 

– Mylan Vu