Raising Awareness To Prevent Sports Injuries

Each year, high school athletes account for about 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations.

But as Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers reports, United Regional in Wichita Falls is making an effort to cut down on those numbers by educating Texoma on the best ways to keep student athletes in peak performing condition and injury-free.

Athletes are competitive by nature, they play hard and play to win.

Unfortunately, getting hurt comes with the turf.

"Kids are highly motivated and love their sport and often feel pressure themselves and may feel pressure from outside to perform depending on the level of performance they typically have," Dr. Joshua Schacter said.

Dr. Schacter said the most common severe injuries he sees this time of year are shoulder, knee and ankle injuries.

If a student athlete does get hurt, he recommends not waiting to see a doctor.

"You can develop fairly severe arthritus that can impact the quality of life later and impact the way they play the sport. Chronic and nagging injury that can really impact performance over a long period of time," he said.

Similar problems can form if an athlete tries to play before they're ready.

"If you go back too soon you could reinjure or something that started out minor can become chronic and nagging," Dr. Schacter said.

That's why having a rehabilitation plan and a support group is key to keeping athletes accountable.

"A lot of what we do is focus on educating coaches and parents and athletes on what expectations can be. What a realistic return to play is and how to prevent further injuries and chronic problems." he said.

United Regional's Sports Medicine Program is designed to do more than just provide care to athletes, it's also aiming to lower the number of sports related injuries.

"Provide access but also education so we can keep cost of medicine and the cost of playing sports as low as possible and yet provide the best care we can to these athletes," Dr. Schacter said.

United Regional is hosting a "Playing It Safe" educational event for parents and coaches Saturday evening at the MPEC.

There, athletic trainers and physicians will be giving a number of different presentations.

It starts at 5p.m.

To register call 940-764-8570.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6