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Factors, symptoms to help determine severity of injury I f you’re like me, you’ve been listening to the sports news every day about the state of football. Is there going to be an NFL season? It is important to remember that injuries aren’t just part of the game. As a player, don’t play hurt. Don’t try to shake off an injury just to get back into practice or the game. Do a proper warm-up before engaging in your sport. Most important to remember is with proper coaching and equipment the risk is minimized. When all this happens and an injury still occurs, here are some things not to ignore with a sports-related injury: Is there a lockout? Has it been lifted? Who drafted whom? With all these stories there is one that may have slid past you last month. A study was published in which it was reported that youth football injuries are on the rise. It garnered extra attention with a Nationwide Children’s Hospital news release in mid-April. I am not bringing this to the attention of the reading parents, coaches and kids because I am looking to start a movement against football. Instead I am bringing this to the forefront to revisit key points about injuries. First let’s talk about some of the statistics from the study: we do to help awareness and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones? ■ Joint pain — Any joint pain particularly in the knee, ankle, elbow and wrist should never be ignored. Health Watch Tom Clennell ■ Nearly 2,000 pediatric and adolescent football-related injuries treated every day in emergency departments during football season. ■ 31% of these injuries were sprains and strains, 28% were fractures and dislocations, 24% were soft tissue injuries. ■ A majority of the injuries, 78%, were in players ages 12-17. There are the numbers, plain and simple. So what can ■ Tenderness at a specific point — Be aware of any injury eliciting pain at a specific point in bone, muscle or joint by pressing on it. Especially if the pain is different than what you feel when pressing on the opposite side. ■ Swelling — This is usually coupled with pain, redness and heat. If it is within a joint it may have pain, stiffness and a clicking or popping sound. ■ Limited range of motion — Seek attention if there is an observable loss of range in comparison to the other side. ■ Comparative weakness — This describes a difference in ability to support your weight on a certain side of your body. ■ Numbness and tingling — Never ignore numbness or tingling. This may indicate a serious injury and should always be seen by a physician. If you suffer any of these indicators of a serious injury, you should be seen by a physician. Tom Clennell is a physical therapist for the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes, a division of Children’s Hospital Oakland with a facility also located in Walnut Creek. If you have questions or comments regarding the “Health Watch” column, write the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes staff at Health@ 24 SportStars™ May 12, 2011 Upload photos and team stats!

EB Issue 23, 05.12.2011

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