Teen girls are an important part of our practice at Rushmore Family Chiropractic. Many of our adult patients have referred their adolescent sons and daughters to us. These patients will go on to become adult patients themselves, so it’s important that we address their needs, and help to create empowered young adults, capable of making important health care choices in the future.
In this blog, we’re going to talk about teen girls and sports. You’ll learn how to prevent many sports-related injuries for your teen daughter, to encourage health competition and enhance your daughter’s athletic skill.
During the teen years, a girl will develop from a child into an adult. That development can sometimes feel like a volatile explosion of hormones and growth spurts, resulting in both physical and behavioral changes. Let’s break down some of those changes:
During adolescence, the brain begins to release a hormone called GnRH which triggers the pituitary gland to release more hormones into your teen’s bloodstream. The effects are different for males and females (more estrogen for girls, more testosterone for boys). The release of these hormones will cause physical changes for your teen – the development of reproductive organs and more visibly, the advent of facial and body hair, growth spurts and acne.
Your teen’s behavior will also change, potentially becoming more moody, even rebellious. All of this is natural, of course.
Sports activity, particularly team sports, can be an effective means of giving your teen an outlet for their aggression while encouraging the development of coordination, skill and healthy competition. But how can we encourage our teen daughters to be active, competitive and driven without risking injury? The truth is that we cannot – but we can inspire our teen girls to be both mindful and thoughtful about their athletic activity.
A well-rested, hydrated, prepared teen is more likely to succeed with a clear head and focus. Knowing, too, the risks that are higher for female athletes, can help prevent injury.
Teen girls are, for example, much higher at risk for ankle sprains, ACL injuries and concussions than their male counterparts. Reasons include the higher levels of estrogen, which can weaken the ACL, the way that girls stand (flat-footed, with a wider pelvis which puts more pressure on the inside of the knee), and weaker hamstring strength. Girls also noticeably have less muscle mass in their quadriceps.
To reduce the risk of damage to the ACL, your teen athlete is encouraged to stretch both before and after exercise. They should also participate in pre-season endurance training, and to rest and recover between workouts. Of course, they should also hydrate, before and after practice, and always wear proper protective equipment.
Sports are an important skill for adolescent girls, helping them navigate the tricky world of competitive relationships while also giving them measurable goals and achievements. Help your daughter enjoy their athletic experience. Schedule their first visit with Rushmore Family Chiropractic and let’s start your young athlete off on the right foot!