Your Wellness with NorthBay Health Experts

Your Wellness is a blog focused on general health topics and information from NorthBay's excellent cadre of health care professionals.

Helping Athletes Get Back In The Game

August 27, 2018

A return to school means a return to various fields of action for young athletes and that means the potential for sports-related injuries.

There are steps that student athletes (and weekend warriors) can take to help prevent injury and a new effort by NorthBay Healthcare that can help if and when an injury occurs, according to orthopedic specialist Robert Peterson, M.D.

"Risk in sports has always been present. Whenever you put that kind of exertion and devotion to an activity, the risk of injury is always there," explained Dr. Peterson. "But sports are safer in many ways. Equipment, training techniques and treatments we have available for injuries that we didn't in years past, all of that has led to better performance and better treatment."

For younger athletes, there are different types of risk that adults don't face. "Growing bodies have different demands and respond differently to what we describe as overuse," said Dr. Peterson.

Prevention is an important part of life for young athletes and preconditioning and training activity is proving to be key to avoiding injury.

"This is a hot topic in sports medicine circles these days. An example is with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female athletes and there has been some excellent work done on things like preconditioning, stabilization exercises and mechanical and technique training drills that can clearly lead to reduced injury rates," he said. "So when we talk about prevention of injuries, part of it is common sense participation, things like pitch counts that we see in Little League baseball, for example, are important in protecting young elbows and shoulders."

When injuries do happen, there are important steps to take and NorthBay has established a Saturday clinic to help.

"Sometimes they want to just put ice on it and rest," he said, noting that further care may be required when an injury occurs. "We're excited this year to be starting Saturday sports injury clinics." The clinics are held every Saturday during the fall sports season (through Oct. 27). They are free and offer a chance for NorthBay specialists to give advice and treatment evaluations for youth and adults with sports injuries.

"If an injury requires an emergency room visit or a higher level of management is required, we're going to refer and get them to care need. But if it's something we can talk about and talk about a treatment plan and resolve without going to an emergency department, certainly that's preferable and we do that as well," Dr. Peterson explained. "It's a place where people can feel safe after Friday night football that there's a place open on Saturday morning where we can talk about any problems or concerns they have."

The clinics are held from 9 to 11 a.m. inside NorthBay Urgent Care, 1679 E. Monte Vista Ave., Suite 105 in Vacaville. No appointment is necessary.

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