Accepting An Invitation
When Brooke de Lench, the Founder of MomsTeam.com, asked me to become a member of the MomsTeam team in 2001, and to write a column for this site, I was honored. I had been following the MomsTeam site since its inception and found it be most innovative and progressive site on the Internet concerning youth sports. I had visited the MomsTeam.com site on a regular basis and had used it to help my children and a family. So, it is truly a privilege to be writing for such a prestigious organization.
The Numbers Tell The Story
The statistics are staggering:
More than twelve million athletes between age five and twenty-two suffer sports-related injuries every year.
Injury in organized and recreational sports is an equal opportunity event, transcending age, gender, race, and state and national borders.
- Twenty million school days are lost by students as a result of muscular-skeletal injury every year, the vast majority during recreational and organized sports.
Despite its magnitude, and the efforts of sites like MomsTeam.com to increase public awareness about the problem, far too little attention is paid to the sports injury epidemic. As a result, it remains, in my view, one of the most under-recognized and unappreciated major public health problems in the United States.
Three Myths About Sports Injuries
Why? Because, unfortunately, the general public and even the medical community continue to underestimate the magnitude of the problem and perpetuate three myths:
1. That most sports injuries are just minor bumps and bruises;
2. That most sports injuries heal quickly and completely and do not result in permanent disability; and
3. That there is very little we as a society can do to prevent sports injuries from occurring or to reduce their severity.
Over the past seventeen years, I have had literally hundreds of people tell me that the number of sports injuries will never go down and that there is nothing that can be done.
Preventing Sports Injuries: It Is Possible
But, as my research has shown over the years, these misconceptions are simply that: misconceptions. The goal of this column, just as it was in my book,The Awakening Of A Surgeon, is to dispel these misconceptions and convey one very simple message, loud and clear:
THE VAST MAJORITY OF SPORTS INJURIES ARE PREVENTABLE
MomsTeam.com and I believe that the only way we can reduce the number of suffered by our children playing sports to any significant degree is by providing information to parents, grandparents, coaches, administrators, and anyone with a stake in youth sports, in a concise, easy-to-use format and make recommendations that every community in our country, indeed, in every country in the world, can implement.
Seeing The Invisible
A friend of mine, Doc Andrews, once told me, "If you can see the invisible, you can accomplish what others believe is the impossible." I believe that, working with MomsTeam.com, I can, through this column accomplish a drastic reduction in the number and severity of sports injuries by doing just that: seeing the invisible.