Alexis Hannigan, PT, is a physical therapist at the Orthopedic Specialty Center at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Alexis Hannigan, PT, is a physical therapist at the Orthopedic Specialty Center at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

School is almost out, and fall sports may be a season away, but now is the ideal time to get ready.

Why? Injury prevention is the key to a successful sports season. Many middle and high school athletes head into their pre-season practice sessions after spending the summer not being active with the right activities to prepare them for their sports. Tight muscles, weak muscles, and deconditioning may place young athletes at increased risk for a host of avoidable injuries. Addressing musculoskeletal imbalances is important, not just for a newcomer to a sport, but for the seasoned athlete as well, especially those who like to push themselves to the extreme. Wearing the wrong shoe and training too much too soon, are also factors that can contribute to injuries. Knee pain, hip pain, ankle sprains, and tendonitis injuries to name a few, can delay or interrupt a sports season leaving an athlete sidelined from their sport.

Maintaining a physically active lifestyle over the summer is the first step in injury prevention. Participating in various sports and recreational activities strengthens and trains a broad range of muscles and can decrease injuries. Hiking, biking, and swimming are just some examples of activities, and living in Vermont there is no shortage of opportunities to be active. Summer is the perfect time to address those tight or weak muscles. Knowing which stretches and exercises to work on can make a big difference in injury prevention by pre-season training in August.

That is why the University of Vermont Medical Center’s Orthopedic Specialty Center on Tilley Drive will host a FREE Youth Sports Night on Thursday, June 5 from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. featuring its physical therapists, athletic trainers, and sports medicine physicians at.

What you will get out of our event:

  • Middle and high school athletes will receive a screening of their strength, flexibility, and running evaluated by our team of experienced physical therapists and athletic trainer. Recommendations for stretches and exercises will be provided for each athlete based on their unique needs.
  • Shoe wear recommendations will be made as well, and Ski Rack will be on board to show the latest shoe selections on the market and answer questions on shoe fitting and various equipment needs.
  • There will be registered dieticians on hand to provide information on sports nutrition and how to best fuel up for practice and games.
  • Interested in learning more about concussions? We will have information available on concussions, and returning to sport following a concussion.
  • The UVM Medical Center’s sports medicine physicians will also be on hand to discuss injury prevention, answer questions, and help our area’s student athletes be prepared for their pre-season training.

If your middle or high school athlete interested in taking part in our Youth Sports Night, please register at www.uvmhealth.org/sportsnight. Space is limited. Call (802) 847-3120 or email RehabTherapies@vtmednet.org with further questions regarding Youth Sports Night.

As pre-season training approaches in August, our goal is that all middle and high school athletes hit the field, court, or track ready to go.

Alexis Hannigan, PT, is a physical therapist at the Orthopedic Specialty Center at the University of Vermont Medical Center. 

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