COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our life. Since March 13th, citizens of the Tri-State Area were forced to quarantine and remain socially distant for several months. At one point, parks and beaches were closed, with some even hesitant to simply go for a walk/run outside on the street or sidewalk.
Our children were not permitted to play or hang out with their friends, except virtually. Statistics show that video game play amongst preteens and teens was up over 5x that of a normal month during the height of the quarantine. Video games are a nice way to interact when you are not able to in person, but they can also lead to a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and other general deconditioning of your muscles.
Of recent, the governor of New Jersey permitted certain sports to resume practice on June 22nd, followed by allowing competitive game play on July 6th. Coaches, athletes and parents became so excited to know that they can finally get back on the field. As a healthcare professional and licensed physical therapist, I am concerned, and would urge parents and coaches to truly focus on appropriate activity progression and injury preventative exercise programs.
At all 71 JAG-ONE Physical Therapy facilities throughout NY, NJ, and PA, your child can be evaluated without a prescription, and our highly skilled orthopedic physical therapists will identify any and all muscle tightness or weakness that your athlete may have prior to getting back on the field.
By coming for this evaluation, attending 2-4 weeks of preventative physical therapy, and following your individualized Home Exercise Program, you will significantly decrease the chances of your child getting injured during the quick ramp up of the post COVID-19 sports season. The alternative could be a season-ending injury that could have been prevented. Common injuries that we are already seeing include apophysitis (growth plate inflammation), muscle strain, ankle sprains, tendinitis, and low back pain. Other injuries that can occur by going 0 to 60 mph, metaphorically speaking, are stress fractures in the hips, spine, tibia (lower leg bone), and foot. Our youth sports seasons will be shorter than ever, as announced by the NJSIAA last week. For that reason, we highly recommend a post-quarantine injury prevention evaluation at JAG-ONE Physical Therapy. This will help to keep your child on the field, engaging with their friends, and actively participating in the sport they love during these trying times.
JAG-ONE Physical Therapy follows all CDC protocols throughout our clinics, including use of PPE by all staff and patients, increased cleaning of all equipment, treatment tables, use of gloves during manual therapy, appropriate separation of treatment tables, and a mandatory COVID-19 screening questionnaire that must be completed by every patient prior to each visit.