When you have a child that is a high school athlete, you want to always be sure that you are supporting them in the best way possible. However, if your child starts to have issues related to their sports endeavors, you might wonder what you can and should do to help them. Knee problems and pain are common complaints among athletes of all kinds. If your child is experiencing such issues, learn some of the important facts about knee pain in student-athletes. Then, you can be sure you are doing what is best for your child going forward.
The Idea of "No Pain, No Gain" Does Not Apply
Back when you were young or in generations before yours, there was a common mantra among athletes. That mantra was "no pain, no gain." In other words, to achieve your goals athletically, you would need to experience a significant amount of pain in the process.
However, that mantra has since been proven problematic and even dangerous to athletes that might try to push themselves beyond their limits and cause themselves serious and career-ending injuries. Do not encourage your child to push through the pain. Doing so is not a sign of toughness or strength; it is only a risk that is not worth taking. You do not want your child to do permanent damage to their knee joint by trying to push past their body's limits.
Rest Should Be Encouraged
Along the same lines as teaching your child to ignore the "no pain, no gain" ideology, you will also want to focus on encouraging your child to rest their knee as much as possible. This may be a difficult battle to fight with your child, so be ready for some resistance from your child.
They will want to continue training and practicing as normal in spite of their knee issues. You will need to insist that they take a few days (at least) to rest and see how their knee is doing. Talking to their school's athletic trainer can also help. When child athletes experience pain or injuries, the trainer should be informed so that they can help to assess and treat the injury. They can also enforce your "rest is necessary" policy.
A Visit to a Sports Medicine Doctor May Be in Order
Knee pain in someone so young often is a sign of damage or injury to the joint. Because of this, going to visit a sports medicine doctor with your child may be in order when they have sports-related knee pain.
A sports medicine doctor understands the rigors of athletics on the knee and will be able to pinpoint exactly what is going on with the joint. They will likely perform a physical examination as well as run other tests like x-rays as needed. The doctor can then recommend a course of treatment that will best protect the knee and prevent any further damage.
Knowing these facts about what to do when your high school athlete is experiencing knee pain, you can be sure you are there for your child in every way possible.