Screening Student Athletes During August to prevent injuries in September

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Screening Student Athletes During August to prevent injuries in September I am a huge proponent of having student athletes screened properly. Now is the time many schools begin working with Football player, Cross Country runners, Lacrosse teams and many other types of sports that are underway in the fall. Most schools, including our own have a form they ask patients to bring to their pediatricians to have them cleared for participation. This typically includes their general health, and their vaccination schedules. There is more to properly screening student athletes, since poor body mechanics will cause injury during their competitions and practices. Body style is inherited, and our students look and most likely also are built like their parents. If their parents are having problems, they will as well. The great news is, there are things we can do to minimize these problems making it more likely the season will be free of injury and the athlete will be able to compete better and more efficiently while in competition. One of the easiest ways to evaluate them is to check their feet. Overpronated feet where the feet turn out on one or both sides will create problems in their backs and if they are built asymmetrically, with one foot turned out more than the other, the net effect is a distorted pelvis which is held in place by a distorted myofascia which covers all the muscles. This can be quickly seen by having the athletes remove their shoes, and asymmetries can be diagnosed by having them stand on one foot and then the other. They will lose their balance quickly if problems exist which is a red flag since these students are the ones most likely to injure themselves. Students who perform poorly in these screenings can be helped with off the shelf orthotics which will give them needed balance from the ground up, helping them become more symmetrical while the devices are worn. This leads to improved efficiency in their core muscles, better running form and most importantly, fewer injuries. Another thing that can benefit these students is having the right doctor available to them to loosen the myofascia using myofascial release, and to help them with core stabilization regimens. Myofascial release and shoe inserts can make a good school season terrific athletically. If you wish to know more about the mechanisms we are affecting, you can read the book Cheating Mother Nature, What You Need To Know To Beat Chronic Pain which will be available on September 2011. What do you think? As always, I value your opinion.