Listen to your body when training for spring sports
Tue, Apr 7, 2015
KAUKAUNA – The crack of a baseball blasted over the fence for a home run. The resounding thud of a game-ending volleyball spike. The whack of a golf ball blasted off the tee and lost in the midday sun. These are all signs spring is in the air, and with it, spring training for area student-athletes.
Alyssa Schultz, a BayCare Clinic physician assistant providing orthopedics services at Aurora Health Center in Kaukauna, is encouraging students to actively embrace their competitive side when participating in spring sports and their cautious side when training for them.
“We’re encouraging our local student-athletes to follow their training guidelines, eat healthy meals and drink plenty of fluids, and most importantly, listen to their bodies,” Schultz said. “Minor aches and pains from training and activating those dormant muscles are normal, but prolonged pain that causes difficulties with your training regimen is not normal and may actually be a sign of injury.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sports and recreational activities are an important part of a healthy, physically active lifestyle for children and young adults. But injuries can, and do, occur. In fact, the CDC says, more than 2.6 million children are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries.
“That’s why it’s important to listen to your body as spring training gets underway and see your healthcare provider when those minor aches become a major pain,” Schultz said. “Your provider can recommend treatment options as basic as the use of ice packs and cold compresses to more complex surgical options that will improve your injury recovery.”
In the meantime, use these steps to stay healthy during spring training and through the season:
Get a physical. Ask your primary care physician to give you a physical exam. He or she can then clear you for participation in your sport.
- Seek support. Your school has athletic trainers, use them. They can guide your training efforts and help you safely prepare your body for your sport.
- Protect yourself. Use the correct protective gear for your sport – helmets, knee and elbow pads, goggles, ankle braces, etc. Make sure your protective gear fits, is worn correctly and is in good condition.
- Practice your form. This can prevent many sports-related injuries resulting from improper swings, kicks, throws and other sports mechanics.
- Make sure you hydrate. Prevent dehydration by drinking lots of fluids, preferably water. Sports drinks are OK, too.
- Get enough rest. Your muscles need some time off to heal and ultimately help you get stronger. Plus, resting prevents your muscles from becoming overused which can lead to injury.
- Take care of your noggin. All concussions are serious. They can lead to a host of problems including, but not limited to, nausea and vomiting, headache, mood swings, altered sleep patterns and more.
“Spring training brings with it renewed championship hopes and dreams,” Schultz said. “Do your part to make sure you perform your best this season without having to experience an avoidable injury.”
If your aches and pains won’t go away, call (877) 884-8796 and make an appointment to see Alyssa Schultz, PA-C, at Aurora Health Center in Kaukauna, 2700 Crooks Ave.