Thursday, November 6, 2008

Note To Young Athletes: Take Care Of Your Body!

I was talking to a middle school client after his football game yesterday and I asked him how he felt....well, he said, "I have a deep thigh bruise and a bruise in my knee area...I said, "what did you do about it?" His answer was "nothing." This is probably a typical answer for a teenager.

Top-shelf athletes know that they make a living with their bodies and they have to treat those bodies like gold. Young guys have to learn that and the sooner the better. Some injuries can get worse if left untreated.

Back to my client....what should he have done? Deep bruises and muscle sprains/strains are common injuries in football. And, they are pretty simple to treat. Treatment of any soft tissue injury (muscle, ligament, tendon, etc.) during the first 24-72 hours is important to offset any further injury and inflammation. The general rule of thumb is to use the R.I.C.E.R. principle (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION, REFERRAL FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE).

The goal is to get as close as you can to 100% healthy for your next game. Start out as a youngster learning how to take care of your body. That body might make a living for you one day!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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