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Will a chiropractor ever treat an adolescent during his professional career? Junior took a baseball right in the back. Julie fell off the human pyramid during cheerleading practice and landed on her back. Needless to say, parents of athletic adolescents are usually first in line at the chiropractic office.
Can Teens Suffer from Back Problems?
While back problems are more common in adults, they are a rarity in teens since the latter is more flexible and agile. That is why any backaches that accompany any athletic event (such as contact sports) should be immediately checked by a chiropractor.
Back Conditions in Teens
Back conditions that can affect teens or kids include –
- Any pain that worsens by performing gymnastic activities such as handsprings or the butterfly stroke in swimming may be indicative of spinal conditions such as Spondylolysis. Younger athletes have more chances of developing the condition than older kids who take part in sporting activities. The condition is often caused by over-use that causes constant trauma and is one of the most common causes of back pain in kids.
- This is also why the condition has more chances of occurring during a teen’s growth spurt, which is also why it is more common in boys rather than girls. A chiropractor might diagnose Spondylolysis in teens who are aged between 15 and 16.
- Any type of backache that causes compromises a teen’s balance or coordination may be caused by a problem in the spinal cord.
Adolescents and teens might put themselves in dangerous situations more than the average five year old, but the fact remains that they are still kids. In other words, they tend to be more aggressive in their activities than younger children. A four year old will probably not stick his hand in a light socket if he has been electrocuted once. However an adolescent will have to keep stressing his back especially if he is pressured to make a tackle or prevent a touchdown in order for his team to win.
Parents cannot stop commercial advertising or peer pressure that expects their kids to push the envelope, but they can educate on taking better care of themselves. A teenager can always be grounded if he/she doesn’t comply to the rules, but parents will be helpless if a backache worsens or worse, ends up paralyzing their child.
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Muscle cramps that are caused by exercise can be very painful and can cause athletes to drop out of competitions. Muscle cramps can happen in any types of sports and are usually a result of muscle fatigue, a loss of electrolytes or dehydration.
Cramps are not limited to sports, they can happen even to people who are not involved in any type of sports. Repetitive cramps can be healed by a chiropractor by aligning the vertebrae correctly in the spine using various techniques.
Causes of Cramps
The American College of Sports Medicine published a review on the causes of muscle cramps during exercise – two possible causes were identified that lead to muscle cramps.
The first was credited to muscle fatigue. Neuromuscular systems are embedded into muscles to allow control of contraction of the muscles. When this system malfunctions, contraction of muscle takes place and then causes the cramps.
Muscles that are regularly used, such as those of an athlete or a person with a very active lifestyle, are at a higher risk of experiencing cramps or spasms.
The second major cause is a result of an excessive fluid loss from the body (sweat), which decreases the body’s electrolytes level. This depletes the body of sodium.
Body’s Natural Cooling System
The body is designed to cool itself by sweating when body temperature starts to rise beyond normal levels. The loss of electrolytes due to sweating can cause depletion of body’s electrolytes and if it is not replenished properly, it will cause cramps.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals including sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium. They are dissolved in the body and directly control the required muscle contractions and nerve conductions.
Consuming bananas to treat muscle cramps has no solid ground and there is no evidence to support such a remedy.
Treating Muscle Cramps
– Fatigued Muscles
Treatment of muscle cramps depends upon the initial cause. For those people who experience a muscle cramp due to a strenuous workload such as exercise or sports, chiropractors recommend treatments such as a massage, application of cold packs to the affected muscles and passive stretching.
Proper rest must be given to those muscles which have experienced an overload due to stress.
– Cramps due to Loss of Electrolytes
For those people who suffer from cramps as a result of excessive sweating and a deficit of sodium, the same methods of treatment can be used besides replenishing the lost fluid levels.
Image Used Under Creative Commons Licensing: 111002-A-XY792-430 by Minnesota National Guard