August signals a return to competition for student-athletes across Texas, emphasizing a renewed emphasis on ensuring competitors are taking care of their bodies in the days between competitions, particularly during hot weather.
Carson Powell, the sports medicine coordinator at CHRISTUS Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, says it’s typical for athletes to feel aches and pains two to three days after their last event but can take steps to rejuvenate their bodies quicker.
“The best recovery method for any person dealing with normal soreness following a game is movement,” Powell said. “These do not need to be hard movements or heavy lifting, but light-weight/low-rep exercises that use all muscle groups can help recovery.”
CHRISTUS athletic trainers across the region say in addition to movement, hydration and adequate rest are crucial to recovery.
“When you get a chance to rest and recover, take advantage of that,” said Kyle Lemarr, manager of athletic training at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Sulphur Springs. “Make this part of your everyday routine. The more you invest in yourself, the more you will see results and feel better even as the season progresses.”
Lemarr emphasized nutrition’s role in the recovery period, encouraging athletes to avoid high-sugar foods and drinks, focusing instead on high-carbohydrate foods.
“My recommendation to many athletes is to eat real whole foods such as steak, chicken, or any other nutritional protein and not just eat chips or other unhealthy processed foods,” Lemarr said. “We always harp on athletes to stay away from energy drinks. There are so many unhealthy nutrients in energy drinks with no nutritional value.”
He noted that most non-serious injuries they see are soft-tissue bruises, muscle strains, ligament strains, and swelling of joints, injuries that the athlete may only be aware of later.
“There are a lot of injuries that can be played through when adrenaline is pumping, and athletes are highly motivated,” he said. “They tend to feel them more the day after than in the moment, which is why a recovery program with proper movement, nutrition, hydration, and rest is paramount for recovering the body in time for the next event.”
The statewide heatwave has also put a spotlight on outdoor practices and activities, with trainers emphasizing student-athlete safety.
“The most important thing is for people to know their own body,” Powell said. “Everyone burns calories and sweats at a different rate. Knowing your body and when to stop if you do not feel well is vital to staying safe.”
For athletes experiencing continuous pain, they are encouraged to reach out to their healthcare provider or take advantage of the free athletic injury clinics held by CHRISTUS each Saturday from mid-August through mid-November.
During this clinic, physicians provide free screening for sports-related injuries.
The Saturday clinic in Sulphur Springs occurs at the CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic, Medical Building 5, 103 Medical Circle, Suite B.
The clinic is from 9:00 am until 11:00 am.