It’s that time again for prep athletes

Are our local competitors getting the best treatment for their injuries?
By Rhonda Byrd | Jul 16, 2013
Photo by: Donated

Summer is nearly over and soon, very soon, it will be time for our athletes in their teens to compete in the sports of football, volleyball and soccer.
It will also be time for sports injuries.
Teenagers typically experience periods of accelerated growth that puts substantial stress on their skeletal systems. This stress increases the risk for severe injuries in young athletes. As teenagers physically mature, they experience significant increases in a number of physical attributes, including power, agility, muscular coordination and speed.
In addition to increasing the level of skill exhibited in athletic performances, these increases amplify the external and internal forces that can lead to injury. In addition, growth spurts commonly experienced during high school result in temporary decreases in flexibility that can increase the chances for injuries related to joint overuse.
If a high school athlete reports an injury or experiences significant pain, visiting a doctor for a proper health assessment is important.
“The quicker we can see an athlete and get the proper diagnosis the quicker we can assess and aggressively treat, whether it be surgery or an aggressive rehab, said Southeastern Sports Medicine’s Dr. Greg Motley  “With my experience in Division I football at the University of Kentucky, I felt the need for sports medicine in this area which I started 16 years ago.”  
After an injury occurs, it’s vital that a young athlete heals thoroughly before returning to physical activity. High school athletes should not be encouraged to “play through” their pain or otherwise ignore their body’s warning signs. In some cases, physical damage occurs in combination with emotional complications that also require proper resolution.
Since the level of competition has risen in high school sports there have been an increase in injuries. Some prep athletes even play multiple sports in school and continue to compete during the summer months.
“A lot of the injuries today are from overuse, playing multiple sports and not letting the body rest,” said  Motley. “When you play multiple sports you use different muscles and if the high school athlete is continuing to play different sports they need to train properly. They want to be active but they need to be smart and cross fit train to compete in multiple sports.”
The top injuries among prep athletes are knee injuries, strains/overuse, ankle injuries, concussion and stress fractures. Beginning two years ago, concussions became the top priority as new rules were implemented by the organizations such as the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and the NCAA.
Leading the charge in treatment of sports medicine has been Southeastern Sports Medicine, which was the first in the our area to offer sports medicine at the high school level and currently has 18 high schools under its umbrella.
They also were the first to offer free sports physicals and an Injury Clinic at 7:15 p.m., with no appointment needed, even Saturday morning for the Friday night gridiron warriors.
Southeastern Sports Medicine was the first in Western North Carolina to offer concussion testing, enhancing the training for their athletic trainers to evaluate the athlete.
In addition, they offer free concussion software to each school and conducted the first-ever Concussion and Injury Prevention Symposium.
Southeastern Sports Medicine has recently added three physicians to an already highly-qualified and nationally-respected staff.
Joining Southeastern Sports Medicine are Dr. Andrew Kersten, who has provided medical care for the athletes on the San Diego Padres, Detroit Lions and San Diego State University.
Hand surgeon Dr. Jim Phelps, who will work with its athletic trainers to provide care for student athletes across the region and Dr. Brian Seng, who is a top-notch orthopedic surgeon.  
Southeastern Sports Medicine doctors have an impressive sports medicine resume, which ranges from the professional to the collegiate ranks.