How to Help Your Young Athlete Keep a Healthy Spine

Helping young athletes maintain good back health, preventing back injuries during their sport.

Spine health can be difficult enough for adults. Problems may occur from poor posture, or we may find that we don’t bounce back from physical work like we used to. But kids and teens naturally have much better back health than adults, right? Not necessarily. 

It may seem like kids and teens have backs made of rubber, but that’s not the case. They, too, can have back problems, and back pain should be taken seriously. This is especially true of youth who are involved in sports. 

Prevention Is the Name of the Game

So just how do you keep a young back healthy and strong? One of the best ways is by preventing injuries in the first place. 

Stretches and warmups. Everyone should stretch and warm up before exercise—including kids. 

Core strength. A great way to prevent back injury is with core strengthening exercises. By building up the muscle around the spine, young athletes can develop support against the physical jarring of playing sports. 

Using the right gear. Does your child’s sport require specific equipment, such as protective shoulder equipment? Be sure they always wear it properly. Helmets and protective padding are vital to staying safe. 

Get good shoes. Is your young athlete a runner? Be sure they run with good shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. And it’s best to avoid running on concrete and uneven surfaces. 

Don’t Ignore the Signs

When is back pain a normal part of everyday life, and when does it become a problem? In some instances, you should seek immediate medical care. Get urgent medical care for any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever accompanying back pain
  • Loss of control of bladder or bowel
  • Loss of strength in arms or legs 
  • Back pain following a trauma 
  • Unexplained weight loss associated with back pain 

These symptoms may seem like clear-cut examples of an emergency, but what do you do when you’re not sure if you should see a doctor? 

If your child’s back pain is related to a strain or another mild injury, seeing your primary care doctor may be a good choice. But if your child’s back pain is persistent and ongoing, especially when accompanied by tingling or numbness, seeing a chiropractic may be the right choice. 

Why See a Chiropractor?

Seeking treatment from a chiropractor is an excellent option for preventative care and for treating injuries. Because chiropractors specialize in the spine and the nervous system, they’re well-equipped to treat a range of back conditions. Another benefit is regular visits with a chiropractor can help to increase the patient’s range of motion. By seeing a chiropractor, you can recognize problems before they become more serious.

Why Choose Petett Chiropractic?

Our doctors are top-notch. Drs. Scott and Anne Petett have extensive experience in the field, including the football field that hosts the world-class San Francisco 49ers, where Scott worked prior to starting his own practice. Scott has treated over 10,000 patients. But above all, he cares about every patient who walks through the door.