Monday, May 21, 2012
Muscle strengthening and sports
So, I just got back from seeing a pediatric sports medicine doctor for my 12 year old daughter. Turns out she has loose shoulder joints causing the right shoulder to pop out of joint (sublux) for no reason. This happens during simple movements such as raising her hand during class. The appointment today inspired me to post about other aspects of Occupational Therapy that are important to children and their overall development. The physician said that with proper shoulder and back exercises, my daughter's shoulders would become stronger and would, thereby, pop out less. Now, I feel that I should mention that my daughter is a soccer player and does summer swimming, so she is a somewhat athletic child. She is not the perverbial couch potato. She just happens to have hyper mobile shoulder joints and needs to focus on exercises that strengthen her shoulders. Soccer, does not provide a lot of opportunities to strengthen the shoulders. It is important for children to be active. Sports, whether organized or not, provide great opportunities for children to increase their strength, endurance, balance and overall well being. It is, however, important for children to be well rounded in their sports playing, for many reasons. Focusing on one sport at an early age, and playing only that sport year round can lead to overuse injuries. Focusing on one sport, focuses on certain muscle groups and can lead to injury. It is beneficial to switch sports throughout the year. For example, do soccer in fall and spring, swimming in winter and summer. That way, your child will use different muscle groups allowing the others to take a break between seasons. When switching sports, it is important for your child to "ease" into the new sport, allowing his/her muscles to adapt to the new movements. In the next couple posts, we will provide fun, safe, movement activities and games for children to do to maintain a strong, healthy body.