On Saturday, August 18th from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Wake Orthopaedics, Safe Kids Wake County and DuPuy Mitek, a Johnson and Johnson company, are partnering to offer athletes ages 10 and up, parents and coaches tips and techniques to prevent and manage sports-related injuries.
The clinic will focus on prevention and management of sports-related injuries in young athletes with sessions including ACL and overuse injuries, proper stretching, warm-up and cool-down exercises, injury prevention practices for coaches and a parent question and answer session with orthopaedic physicians.
In an interview, Dr. Mark Wood, medical director of Wake Orthopaedics, discusses why the clinic is important. Here are his responses:
Q: Why as a physician, do you choose to help with these types of sports clinics?
A: Orthopaedic Sports Medicine specialists have the responsibility of educating our communities and raising awareness of the importance of injury prevention. As a physician, my primary goal is to help keep young athletes safe so they can stay in the game.
Q: How do you hope this clinic will help kids/parents/coaches?
A: Injury prevention programs are challenging to implement due to limited time, resources, and education. This clinic will offer an enjoyable venue that will raise public awareness of the importance of injury prevention and will focus on educating coaches and parents how these programs can be easily incorporated into their teams’ practices.
Q: Why do we hear so much about overuse injuries these days?
A: Overuse injuries are more common these days due to the increased number of athletes choosing to specialize in one sport all year, without a break, at a younger age. Many of these sports offer elite or select levels, which leads to a higher level of competition. This results in young athletes to train harder and longer to compete for the opportunity to play for these elite teams. Many young athletes perform the same sport and repetitive activity five or more days per week with little time for rest and healing. This leads to increased stress on their growing bones and joints beyond the natural time required for healing. The good news is that approximately 50 percent of these sports-related injuries are preventable.
Q: Can not playing smart and focusing on injury prevention when you are young impact you later in life?
A: Absolutely. Knee injuries in particular may have lasting consequences including early onset of arthritis.
Q: This clinic is great, but are there other things kids/parents can/should do to ensure safe play?
A: The clinic will cover a variety of these topics including the importance of nutrition, hydration and concussions. Parents can be sure that their young athletes have appropriate sport-specific safety equipment and should be aware of potential unsafe playing surfaces. Allowing time to rest and cross-training (playing different sports in different seasons) is beneficial.
Q: Anything else you think is important for the parents of young athletes to know…
A: Keeping our young athletes safe is the responsibility of parents, coaches and medical providers. Implementing simple injury prevention programs, like the one offered in this clinic, has been proven to decrease minor and major injuries by 50%.
If you have additional questions for Dr. Wood about the clinic or overuse injuries, please email me.