DEVELOPING THE YOUNG FEMALE ATHLETE

In 2011, Naomi Kutin broke a world powerlifting record, squatting 215 lbs. She was in the 97 lbs weight clas…and was just nine years old. She broke a record previously held by a 44 year old German woman. Since then, Naomi has become a prodigy with the nickname “Supergirl” in the lifting community. Now, at 16, she has continued to astound, deadlifting 365 lbs in the last Pan American Championships with Team USA.

As you look at your own daughter, you’re probably thinking, “Thank goodness my daughter wants to play softball… “Aren’t girls like Naomi a special case?” And…most importantly, “Is what Naomi doing in that video EVEN SAFE???” As parents, coaches, trainers…we all walk a fine line. We want to keep young athletes from the life-long consequences of injury but we still want to help them be their best. Especially if they LOVE their sport. No one wants to put out the fire of a young athlete. But when is it our responsibility to draw the line? How can we prepare our young athletes for the risks of their sport?

Until recently, strength training and young athletes has been a taboo subject. Even more so for females. Most parents have no problems signing their daughter up for softball or soccer, but strength training? It just doesn’t happen that easily. Here’s the problem: Our girls are getting hurt.  In soccer. In softball. In volleyball. And, our girls are getting hurt more often- and worse -than our boys.

With more females participating in sports over the last decade, science has devoted a greater focus to female athletes and their development. Currently, data for gender-matched sports show females present a higher incidence of injuries than male athletes. And when we think about it….it makes sense!!! We KNOW that male athletes have more muscle mass and a baseline of strength due to their hormonal makeup (hello higher testosterone!).

YET in gender-matched sports with similar rules (ie softball/ baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, etc), males and females are exposed to the SAME FORCES on the field or court. But we keep throwing our comparatively weaker females on to this field or court.

It’s no wonder our female athletes keep getting injured!

Girls are seeing an increase in injury in sports, particularly

  • stress fractures,
  • ACL tears,
  • and other knee injuries like PFPS (patellofemoral pain syndrome)

What’s the solution? How can we prepare young female athletes for a healthy athletic career?

Strength Training.

The science is clear: strength training is not just a necessary training tool for football players; it is a necessary tool for all ATHLETES to help prepare their bodies for the forces imposed in sport. And based on the current research, it is CRUCIAL we start making strength training a PRIORITY for today’s female athlete. (1)

In this article we are going to discuss:

  • When should females begin strength training programs
  • The ‘neuromuscular spurt’ girls need for athletic development
  • Common injuries and training techniques that reduce risk
  • How CULTURE has created a dangerous myth surrounding strength training for girls

Lifting the Myth: How Young is Too Young?

“The young bodies of modern day youth are often ill prepared to tolerate the demands of sports or physical activity.”

READ MORE AT: http://relentlessathleticsllc.com/2018/12/developing-the-young-female-athlete/

Contributed by: Emily R Pappas, MS Exercise Physiology

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Athletico’s Overhead Athlete Program

Matt Gauthier, PT, DPT, SCS from Athletico Physical Therapy talks with Steve and Dr. Cole about the unique characteristics of the Overhead Athlete, types of overhead throwing injuries: causes, prevention and treatment.

There’s more to throwing than just the motion of your arm.  There’s actually a whole science dedicated to it-and Athletico offers a comprehensive approach. Our team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, certified athletic trainers, and physical therapy assistants combine their expertise in throwing analysis with slow-motion video analysis to enhance performance and help prevent injuries.

Matt Gauthier specializes in the treatment of high-level athletes, and is the most passionate about treating shoulder and knee injuries. He is the head of Athletico’s Overhead Athlete Program,  and is a member of the USOC physical therapy volunteer program. As a sports specialist, he has experience treating athletic injuries at the youth, high school, college, professional, and Olympic levels.

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Segment 102.1: Athletico’s Overhead Athlete Program

Matt Gauthier, PT, DPT, SCS from Athletico Physical Therapy talks with Steve and Dr. Cole about the unique characteristics of the Overhead Athlete, types of overhead throwing injuries: causes, prevention and treatment.

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There’s more to throwing than just the motion of your arm.  There’s actually a whole science dedicated to it-and Athletico offers a comprehensive approach. Our team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, certified athletic trainers, and physical therapy assistants combine their expertise in throwing analysis with slow-motion video analysis to enhance performance and help prevent injuries.

Whether you are returning from an injury or simply working to refine mechanics, Athletico has skilled professionals to assist you in optimizing your form and preparing your body for the field of competition, bringing you one step closer to making your goals a reality.

Matt Gauthier specializes in the treatment of high-level athletes, and is the most passionate about treating shoulder and knee injuries. He is the head of Athletico’s Overhead Athlete Program,  and is a member of the USOC physical therapy volunteer program. As a sports specialist, he has experience treating athletic injuries at the youth, high school, college, professional, and Olympic levels.

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JAMMED FINGER- SEE A DOCTOR OR NOT?

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D., President, Sideline Sports Doc, Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University

Key Points:

  • A jammed finger occurs with direct impact to the tip of a finger and is generally a mild sprain that resolves in a few days
  • Some finger injuries can be more serious and require urgent evaluation. Examples would include complete tendon tears, joint dislocation, or broken bone.
  • Use The SAFE Method™ (Story, Appearance, Feel, Effort) to rapidly evaluate an injured finger

Catching or getting hit by a ball on the tip of a finger- a football, volleyball, or basketball- is generalyouthbasketball a common way kids and young adults can injure a finger. Fortunately, most finger injuries are reasonably mild and will allow for a quick return to sport. A “jammed finger” is a sprain of the soft tissue structures surrounding a joint. But sometimes a tendon (a structure that links muscle to bone, and cause fingers to move) can be torn, or a joint can be dislocated, or one of the bones broken.

There are some simple steps you can take to rapidly evaluate an injury and make a reasonable determination about whether it’s safe to continue play, or perhaps whether you should seek urgent physician evaluation. At Sideline Sports Doc, we use a simple evaluation for sports injuries that we call The SAFE Method™. The SAFE Method™ is an acronym for Story, Appearance, Feel, and Effort. You use these four points to evaluate pretty much any sports injury. Here’s how you use it for a jammed finger.

Story

Basically this means “how did it get hurt”. Most of the time there will be direct contact to the tip of the finger, that’s pretty obvious. But here you want to be on the lookout for things such as very severe pain, whether you may have heard a pop, or whether you may have felt something crack. Those are all “red flags” indicating that you might have a significant injury. If you have any of those red flags I’d recommend evaluation in an urgent care facility. And if you don’t have any red flags, move on to…

Appearance

What does it look like? In most typical jammed fingers your finger should look pretty normal in the first several minutes after the injury, this is common with a simple jammed finger. (It may get swollen an hour or two later…) But what if it is rapidly becoming swollen, or if it’s bent at an unusual angle, or if the joint is obviously out of position? If any of those things are what you’re seeing then go to an emergency room for proper treatment. Does it look normal? That’s good, so move on next to Feel.

Feel

In “feel” you want to press lightly on the injured joint. Generally this will produce mild soreness with a common jammed finger. But if your light touch feels really painful that’s a red flag indicating the need for urgent evaluation. Significant pain with light touch is often present with broken bones. Are you still doing ok? Then move on to the last evaluation step, Effort.

Effort

In this last step you want to make an effort at moving the injured area on your own. For hand injuries this is done by making a fist and opening the fingers out straight. If you’re able to do this fairly easily, that’s good and generally goes along with a jammed finger. But what if you can’t make a fist, can’t open the fingers, or if the joint just won’t move? That could mean a torn tendon, or possibly another significant injury. Get yourself to an urgent care facility.

So if you pass each of the four steps without any red flags or areas of concern youSideLineSportsDoc probably have a sprain or a jammed finger. Get home and apply RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and monitor your progress each day. But if things don’t start turning back to normal in the next few days, or if you have concerns that it isn’t healing as you’d expect then it’s always safe to seek proper physician evaluation.

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