Preventing injuries that sideline student athletes

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As children are heading back to school, many student athletes are gearing up for fall sports.

However, doctors say it is also a time when kids are susceptible to injuries.

As the head physician for the Houston Astros and team orthopedist for the Houston Texans, Dr. David Litner is familiar with injuries that sideline athletes of all ages.

Dr. Litner said, “Nuts and bolts, traumatic injuries, contusions, sprains, strains, pulled muscles, more hamstrings, that sort of stuff.”

Unfortunately, fall is a busy time of year for him.

He said, “It seems that most of the kids that tear their ACLs tear them in the first part of the season. Most kids that tear their shoulders tend to tear them in the first part of the season. We’re not really sure why that is, whether it’s conditioning or what not but those are the more common ones that we see.”

To prevent an ACL tear, he recommends agility and jumping maneuvers.
Dr. Litner said, “Athletes that are getting ready for football and volleyball tend to focus on lifting weights in the gym, running for conditioning and that’s all very important for the foundation. But it’s really the agility, the jumping and, most importantly, landing from a jump that can really train your muscles to help keep you out of trouble.”

He says athletes, especially boys, get in the weight room and tend to focus on building up those quads and ignoring the hamstrings.

However, hamstring strength is just as important when it comes to protecting the body from injury.

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