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What to Know About Sports Injuries


It's the start of a new school year and another season of organized sports for millions of teenagers and children. Unfortunately, whether they're putting on football pads, picking up a tennis racquet or swinging a golf club, injuries can happen.

Here's how to keep your young athlete on the playing field:

Schedule a Physical Exam: A yearly physical exam with your family's primary care physician can spot and correct potential medical problems, especially for children. The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) and most school districts require a physical before a student can participate in a specific sport.

Keep In Shape: Starting a sporting activity without the proper physical conditioning can only produce a higher injury rate. You need to be fit to play, not play to become fit. Athletes should engage in regular off-season training to prepare for their sport. Being physically fit also reduces the amount of "second half" injuries caused by fatigue.

Stretching: Stretching exercises enhance the flexibility of your muscles, so they're better able to contract and perform without tearing, reducing the risk of injury.

Don't Play Through Pain: Pain is your body's way of saying that something is wrong. Seek medical help if there is joint pain, swelling, tenderness at a specific point, reduced range of motion, weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation.

Respect The Sport: Stay safe by using proper safety equipment and following the rules.