The Athlete and the Injury . . .

Kids these days fall into one of three categories of activity participation:

  1. The Virtual Athlete who plays FIFA Soccer, Madden Football, MLB The Show and NBA 2K on a gaming system.

  2. The Active Play Athlete who plays many different sports or participates in a wide variety of activities – individual and team sports or exercise.
  3. The Sport Specialized Athlete who plays one sport year around and may be on a few different teams – school, club and community.

Injury can occur no matter what category your child is in but for different reasons!

  • The Virtual Athlete may get injured when beginning an activity or sport due to lack of strength, flexibility, agility or control for the activity they are performing.
    • Of Special Note: Kids who play active games on the Wii or Xbox Kinect systems can get injured as well! Especially if they play one game over and over – think overuse or repetative movements!
  • The Sport Specialized Athlete may get injured due to repetitive movements done during practice and games  that wears a body part down and prevents healing.
  • The Active Play Athlete may get injured for the same reasons a Virtual Athlete or Sport Specialize Athlete depending on the situation.

Think of spraining your ankle . . .

The Sport Specialized tennis player or basketball player is prone to these injuries by nature of the sport, the Active Play Athlete may be running and step in a hole twisting their ankle and a Virtual Athlete may slip off the Wii board twisting their ankle ~ it’s all still an ankle sprain!

So . . .

Who are you? Who is your child?

How do you prevent injury now that you know?

Hint: its different for each category!

See tomorrow’s post for advice particular to each type of athlete . . .

National Falls Awareness

Isn’t it a funny coincidence that National Falls Prevention Awareness Day “falls” on the same day as the first day of fall?

But it is the perfect time to talk about improving balance in your life. Moving from summer to fall we experience a balancing of the sunlight and moonlight hours. There is a shift in the rhythm of our routines, maybe even a complete reorganization of them! As you balance your commitments this fall, consider adding physical balance to your routine.

The CDC reports that about one third of people aged 65 years and older will fall each year. This increases to 50% of people 80 years and older. Only 15% of these falls are unavoidable! The other 85% are due to combinations of the following risk factors:

  • Strength, Balance and Mobility deficits

  • Medication errors and mismanagement

  • Vision, Inner ear, or Cognitive impairment

  • Depression

  • Effects of multiple medical conditions.1

A Physical Therapist can help you evaluate your risk of falling by examination and evaluation of your:

  • Medical history – including nervous system disorders such as Stroke or Parkinsonism, history of fall, and more

  • Current medications

  • Vision and vestibular systems

  • Vital signs

  • Footwear and feet

  • Strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, gait, posture

We also perform a home safety assessment and a quick screen of your cognitive abilities.2
If a concern is found a Physical Therapist can address limitations in:

  • strength

  • flexibilty

  • coordination

  • sensation

  • balance

  • gait

  • visual tracking

  • inner ear function

We also educate clients on how to reduce your fall risk and your fear of falling. Finally, we refer clients to the appropriate medical profession for consultation regarding medication, cognitive and medical issues as they are not within our scope of practice.3

After Physical Therapy, there are many wonderful community programs for balance training to help you maintain your balance!

Wishing you a Fall-Free Fall!

Additional resources you may find helpful

My Resources




Concussion Discussion

My kids are kind of accident prone. Maybe no more than the average kid these days but much more than I was as a kid! They have had multiple casts on multiple body parts among other injuries. The most frightening thing we have faced however is concussions – my son has had two in three years.

Luckily, I spent the first ten years of my career working with brain injury so I am familiar with these types of clinical presentations lending a degree of comfort to dealing with a concussed kid. Unfortunately, I spent the first ten years of my career working with brain injury so I am familiar with these types of clinical presentations causing me to become extremely neurotic when dealing with a concussed kid!

In 2013 I began learning a little more about the role that physical therapists can play in concussion diagnosis and treatment. With the fall sports season starting, it behooves me to share some of this information with you.

What is a concussion?

An injury to the brain that disrupts how it normally works, caused by a hit or jolt to the head that causes the brain to move around inside the skull.

How do you get one?

The most common mechanism of injury is colliding with another player or the head hitting the ground no matter what sport or activity in which the child is involved.

In football there is additional risk due to head to head contact when tackling.

What are the signs/symptoms of a concussion?

  • Physical = nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision.

  • Cognitive = memory, concentration issues

  • Emotional = irritability, excessive crying or laughing, mood swings

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Essentially your chid just seems a little off.

Who is most at risk?

  • Kids are more at risk than adults  – their brains and bodies are still developing and therefore are more sensitive to the neurochemical changes that occur during a concussion

  • Girls are more susceptible than boys – they make less testosterone and therefore the  size and power of their neck muscles will be less than boys.

How can a concussion be prevented?

  • Safe play – sportsmanship and proper technique.

  • Proper conditioning and training – in the off season and participation in more than one sport to develop multiple skill sets.

  • Use the proper protective equipment.

The bigger issue is the risk of Second Impact Syndrome  

This occurs when a concussed athlete returns to play before he or she is completely recovered. Astonishingly, 50% of concussions go unreported because either the incident is not recognized as a concussion or the athlete doesn’t report symptoms because they want to stay in the game.

 What to do if you suspect a concussion?


  • Head to the ER or MD – no imaging can ID a concussion but it can rule out other things

  • Have a plan for symptoms management and monitored return to regular activity – school and sport

  • Follow the 4 Step Return to Academics then the 5 Step Return to Sports Protocols under the supervision of a professional familiar with concussions = MD, PT, ATC

For answers to your specific questions please email me at

Be Well!  Roxi