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Dr. Zach Story – The truth about a Young Athlete and Sports Injuries

Sports were very important to me when I was in high school & college. I enjoyed it and I was a fairly good athlete. Being good meant I played a lot. This is what led me to suffer neck injuries (“stingers”) and dual shoulder injuries paired with chronic pain. Rest or sitting on the sideline was not an option for me. I went to the doctor and was prescribed pain medication. This helped me stay in the game, it numbed the pain enabling me to play through the injury. Soon I was having to use it more and more. It made me feel invincible. Being level-headed I knew deep down that this may begin to turn into an addiction. My parents knew how much I loved sports but were concerned that I continued to increase the consumption of my medication. It was time to seek an alternative. They took me to a chiropractor, and it changed my life. My first adjustment was something I didn’t think was possible, the pain was decreased without masking it. I continued to go and my neck symptoms got better and better. This is what inspired me to become a chiropractor today. Eventually, I had to have surgery on the shoulders, but today in our clinic with the use of our regenerative medicine and our team-based approach, I may have been able to avoid it. This is my passion, and I wish more local athletes would take advantage of the services we have to offer. Sports were my life but now it has had some damaging effects on my life. We as a nation, and as parents, need to recognize the importance of prevention and be taking the right steps or reactions to injury, not just masking their pain or ignorance thinking their young bodies will recover on their own. These injuries do have a long term effect on us. Thankfully I have all the resources available to avoid another surgery and when my shoulders start to bug me I have the ability to eliminate the pain without masking it with pain killers. Please don’t let your child become a statistic because addiction can happen to anyone, just like me, a star athlete and a valedictorian. Let’s be proactive and talk to your children. A lot of times as a parent you may not even know your child is struggling with chronic pain. Let us help, the opportunities at our office are endless. We don’t want you to be left saying, “I wish I would have known.”

Steps to Help Prevent Sports Injury

Check Up on Concerns — if your child has suffered an injury or if they have chronic pain, schedule at our office to evaluate their current condition. Our team will recommend any necessary accommodations to protect your child’s bodies without prescribing a prescription or recommending a surgery.

Gear Up — wear the proper protective equipment like pads and shin guards to ensure safe play.

Learn Proper Technique — It is important for you to ensure your child is learning the correct way to move and perform. This is sure to lower injury risks. The proper form and technique should be stressed in practice and games.

Strengthen and Condition — focus on your child’s conditioning to increase general fitness and build stamina. Make sure stretching is a part of your child’s daily workout to help their muscles stay flexible.

Take Breaks — The most common chronic sports injuries are due to overuse. Avoid repetitive use. Vary your child’s routine and take rests throughout the week. It’s also good to rest between sporting seasons. Children and teens who go directly from one sport to another year-round are more likely to suffer from chronic pain and damage to joints, muscles, and ligaments.
Never Play Through Pain—if your child gets hurt or is experiencing ongoing pain during play, make sure they get off the field or court and seek medical attention promptly. Ignoring injuries can lead to long-term disabilities and missed playing time.

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