March Madness is upon us. Did you know that before the final tournament is the most common time men have a vasectomy; so they can stay home and watch the game. Well between this and our crazed football frenzy it is clear we are a sports focused community.
Sports have many benefits: fitness, teamwork, achieving common goals but there are drawbacks too. The intensity of kids’ sports in the last few years has shocked me. it seems the plan is for everyone to get a full scholarship and move on to the pros. This intensity has some serious repercussions. One is the toll on young, growing bodies.
Parents and coaches may not realize what this physical stress is doing to growing joints and spines. We are seeing more serious damage to children’s spines than we have seen in 25 years of practice. When the spine becomes misaligned due to impact, it becomes more vulnerable to another impact. When the spine or any joint is misaligned, the joint cushion no longer protects as it was designed. This causes tremendous wear and tear on the spine, knees, hips, shoulders, ankles, elbows etc. This wear and tear causes early arthritis.
If you or your child is playing a sport with either impact or repetitive motion, it is important to have the alignment checked to prevent permanent problems. It is much easier to correct a small problem than to wait for a crisis.
Whether you are 12 or 20 or 60 staying active, fit and enjoying a sport is important. Don’t let injuries end the joy of the game!