AN ORTHOPEDIC BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST
By this time, school supply lists for classes have been sent out for all of your child’s needs before returning for the new school year. Equally important to school shopping is preparing your child physically. We are here to get you prepared from an orthopedic point of view in order to prevent school-related injury.
THE RIGHT BACKPACK
Over the years children have needed to carry more items to and from school causing the need for larger backpacks. Heavy backpacks are a common source of back pain in children.
When shopping for back-to-school backpacks, it is important to look for the following characteristics:
- Straps should be wide and padded; they should be tightened to keep the load closer to the body.
- Packs that include hip or chest belts are helpful in distributing the weight of the backpack.
- Consider the weight of the backpack before any school supplies are inside. A quality lightweight backpack is best.
- It is important to know that backpacks should weigh 10% or less of the child’s total body weight.
- Opt for a rolling backpack if it weighs more than 10% of the child’s body weight.
It is important that your child have an annual physical exam by your pediatrician every year. This exam includes a scoliosis screening and sports clearance if your child will be participating in athletics. Most states require that children and teens have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season. However, even if a sports physical isn’t required by your state, it is still highly recommended for your child to be screened. A physical exam helps determine whether it’s safe to participate in a certain sport which can prevent injury.
Most preseason training for school sports begins in the summer to prepare for the start of the regular season once school starts. Preseason training generally consists of intensive conditioning. During this time there can be injuries such as sprains and strains due to the excessive training and transitioning from summer vacation.
In order to prevent injury, it is important to do the following:
- Always warm up: Make sure to do at least 5 minutes of stretching before training as well as 15 minutes of cardio.
- Hydrate: During exercise, drink a cup of water for every 20 minutes of activity.
- Remember to Cool Down: At the end of every work out, be sure to do 5 minutes of cool down stretches to reduce muscle soreness.
Whether youth, professional, or in between, Cape Fear Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will keep you in the game. Our experienced staff has the techniques and expertise to manage a variety of injuries, both acute and chronic. Rehabilitation programs are specifically designed to provide a safe, progressive return to play. Each program is customized to focus on return to activity following an injury, whether operative or non-operative.
Dr. Benjamin Levine is a hand and wrist specialist. He completed his training in Orthopedics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT and a fellowship in hand and upper extremity at the University of Rochester. Dr. Levine practiced in Minnesota for six years where he served as the hand surgeon for the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, Wild and Timberwolves. His interest and research in activities in upper extremity trauma has allowed him to speak internationally and train other orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Levine’s philosophy is to try all alternatives to surgery when appropriate.
Our sports medicine specialist, Dr. Jason Lowe, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Lowe is the current team doctor for the Fayetteville Marksmen and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. He completed his undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University and received his medical degree from Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
At Cape Fear Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our specialty-trained doctors at Cape Fear Orthopedics & Sports Medicine are recognized experts in sports medicine and rehabilitation. When you are seen by one of our experts, you know that you are being treated by an experienced doctor who is focused and dedicated to providing you exceptional orthopedic care.
Our experts understand that proper diagnosis is paramount in determining the most effective treatment plan for your individual condition. For a consultation with one of our providers, call us at (910) 484-2171.
Photo provided by Autumn Schroe