As school districts and athletic leagues prepare to resume practices and reopen schools for the fall after COVID-19 closures, the specialty-trained sports medicine doctors at Middle Georgia Orthopaedics offer guidance for protecting the health and safety of local student-athletes. Athletes or parents and guardians seeking specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (478) 953-4563 to schedule a safe appointment in Warner Robins at 3051 Watson Blvd., Suite 525, and in Perry at 1013 Main St.
“At Middle Georgia Orthopaedics, we are committed to keeping our local student-athletes safe and healthy,” says Dr. K. Scott Malone, fellowship-trained sports medicine doctor. “To help our athletic community move safely back into training and competition, my team and I have put together a list of guidelines for student-athletes, parents, guardians and coaches.”
As workouts and practices begin, student-athletes should exercise caution to help reduce the risk of viral spread as well as the risk of injury by adhering to these guidelines:
- Prioritize your health: Keep up proper nutrition, drink plenty of water and fluids and avoid overtraining. You should also practice good hygiene with hand washing and refrain from touching your face while also wearing face coverings when appropriate as well as avoiding close physical contact with others who are not members of your household.
- Get a pre-participation physicals: Many schools and leagues choose to require a pre-participation physical before sports and school seasons resume. However, athletes should still get a physical from a medical professional as soon as possible to make sure their conditioning and workouts are safe for them.
- Slow and steady is key: COVID-19 measures have restricted the activity levels of many, so athletes will need to slowly increase training and skill-building exercises. You may need reconditioning after months of indoor sheltering, and it is important to know your limits and watch out for pains to avoid injury, immunosuppression or illness.
- Follow COVID-19 protocols from your school or athletic association: In addition to maintaining social and physical distancing as best as possible while also respecting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidlines, players, parents and coaches should follow any state, local, school, league and venue regulations set to combat the spread of COVID-19.
- Keep it cool: As summer continues, the risk of heat-related illness is high, especially for those who have spent more time indoors this year. Athletes may need to slowly acclimate themselves to sun and heat and should stretch before activities, stay hydrated and stay in the shade as much as possible.
“As athletics resume, we know it poses a number of risks, including injuries and conditions related to overtraining, slips, falls and collisions,” says Dr. Jeffrey Easom, fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon at Middle Georgia Orthopaedics. “We are here for our local athletes, and we will keep providing highly specialized treatment and any return-to-play care plans athletes may need to get back in the game quickly and safely.”
Middle Georgia Orthopaedics offers safe appointments at their offices in both Warner Robins and Perry.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with the sports medicine experts at Middle Georgia Orthopaedics, please call (478) 953-4563.