Many teens are involved in sports and physical activities. Unfortunately, some teens make poor decisions because they think they are invincible. Poor decisions do not lead to all injuries, but they do lead to an increased risk of injuries. The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University reports that 3.5 million children and teens are injured while playing sports or participating in recreational activities each year. This can have a major impact on the high school lives of injured teens.
Taking steps toward preventing injuries is the best way to avoid physical and emotional trauma, but it is also important to know the best way to recover when injuries do occur. Thankfully, teens can learn how to recover from injuries related to teen sporting activities.
Seek Medical Attention
If an injury occurs while playing your favorite sport, the first thing to do is visit a doctor or other medical professional. You may be tempted to keep playing to keep up with your friends, but this increases the risk of making the injury worse. A doctor will be able to determine how bad the injury is and prescribe the right treatment.
Rest and Relax
One of the most important things to do after an injury is rest. Whether you have a muscle strain or a sprain, your body needs time to recover from the injury. If you try to participate in a school event or sporting activity without recovering properly, you are risking your physical health and well-being.
Fight Anxiety With Information
Parents and coaches may not understand the emotional effects of a sports injury, so it is important to fight anxiety by gathering information about your injury. This is especially important if you sustained a serious injury that is preventing you from participating in your favorite sporting activities for a long period of time. Ask a coach, trainer or physician how long the recovery period will last, what you should expect during the recovery process, and what activities are safe to perform during the recovery period. If a physician recommends a specific set of activities, perform them according to the instructions to reduce the risk of additional injuries.
Your attitude actually has an effect on how well you heal. One study showed that people who heal quickly maintain positive attitudes and take personal responsibility for the recovery process. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to use imagery to create positive thoughts. This helps you feel more in control of your recovery, which may help you recover faster. When using imagery, you have to relax and take a few deep breaths. Then you close your eyes and create a vivid image. Use your senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch to make the image realistic. When used to promote healing, creative imagery should focus on an image that symbolizes recovery. If you have a broken bone, you might picture a healthy bone in your mind.
Learn to Prevent Injuries
While you are recovering from your injury, learn about the best ways to prevent sports and leisure injuries. Few parents and teens know that many injuries occur during sports practice instead of during games. The National Center for Sports Safety says that 62 percent of all sports-related injuries occur during practice sessions. Ask a physician or experienced coach for tips on protecting yourself from the following injuries:
- Broken bones
Purchase uniform padding and other equipment that can help you avoid injuries. If you do not know how to use this equipment properly, ask a coach to help you. Learning how to prevent injuries during the recovery period is a good way to use the extra time you have as you prepare to return to athletic activities.