The Impact of Weightlifting on Young Spines
By Alexis Mills
Starting to lift weights at a young age, especially if not taught properly, can have a detrimental effect on the body, perhaps even impacting how the young body develops during critical stages of growth. With the rise of adolescent competitive sports, children are starting to weight lift at younger ages than before in order to gain a competitive edge.
Risks of Youth Resistance Training
While coaches and parents are looking for new ways to get their players and children stronger, it does come with serious risks and rewards. The biggest risks come from improper weight training through incorrect technique, lack of proper training, and trying to increase the weights too quickly. These practices are what lead to an increased chance of injury and long-term damage to the body.
Through a three-year study of adolescent weightlifters, 11 of the 12 participants revealed to have some sort of abnormal lumbar issues. These findings are shocking and show, if not prove, how much participating in weightlifting, especially at a young age, can create long-term effects on the spine. The repetitive movements paired with lack of rest causes the body to wear and break down.
How to Help
Especially for year-round sports, the competitive athletes are in a constant environment that avoids rest and time for the body to rebuild from being overworked. First and foremost, rest needs to be a bigger priority for adolescents who play sports in order to give your body time to recover and heal. Especially at a time in life when the body is still developing fully, resting or not could be the difference between suffering from an injury that will bother you the rest of your life. It sounds so simple, but it is so important for us all to listen to our bodies and to not overwork it.
Also, it is essential for young athletes to regularly visit a chiropractor in order for them to detect any issues right when they appear. Since there has been a link to adolescent athletes having spinal issues, getting the help from a professional chiropractor can help. Even taking the necessary precautions of giving your body time to rest and recover might not be entirely what you need to avoid permanent damage. Visiting a chiropractor will make sure you are aware, and they can help your body heal itself properly and avoid damage to your spine. It is crucial that each person understands how they can take care of their body and realize the importance of it all.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dallas, Tex.