If you are the parent of a teen athlete, you know firsthand that an injury was not in their plans. However, the unexpected happened, and now here you are. Fortunately, aside from following a regimen prescribed by a sports medicine healthcare professional, there are other things you can do to help your son or daughter get back in the game.
1. Eat Healthily
Do your part to ensure your child follows a healthy diet. A diet low in nutritional value can cause inflammation. Inflammation during the recovery period can lead to increased pain, and it can also create flexibility issues, which may make it more challenging for your athlete to participate in their therapy regimen.
2. Stay Hydrated
Next to a healthy diet, it is also important to remain hydrated. Good hydration improves mobility and aids in the muscle repair process, which are both essential for their recovery. Second, if your child has been prescribed pain medicine, staying hydrated will ensure these powerful medications flow through their system.
3. Workout at Home
If your child's injury is not severe, their sports medicine recovery plan may include physical therapy. If this is the prescribed plan, the healthcare provider will likely send you all home with a set of exercises to do on your own time. Make certain you encourage your child to follow through on these exercises. Following these exercises at home will help speed up the process.
4. Practice Good Mental Health
When it comes to a tough situation, it is always good to remember that it is mind over matter. If your child can set their mind on success, they will be able to make it through this trying and unplanned situation. Whether it is speaking statements of affirmation with your child or encouraging them to surround themselves with positivity, keeping their mind healthy can help with their physical health.
5. Aim for Slow Progression
Make sure you talk with your injured teen about slow progression. Even after your child is cleared to return by their sports medicine professional, your son or daughter should not expect to return at 100%. Instead, it is best to begin with a slow progression. For example, maybe your child can start by only participating in practice 2 times a week, slowly increasing their participation, and then eventually playing in the game.
As always, make sure you speak with the healthcare professional aiding you in your child's recovery to ensure they are on the right track based on their needs and injuries.
To learn more, contact a sports medicine physician.