Orthopaedic Associates Advises on Sports Safety for Fall Student-Athletes

As local school districts and athletic authorities prepare to resume practices and reopen schools after COVID-19 closures, the specialty-trained sports medicine doctors at Orthopaedic Associates offer injury prevention guidance for area student-athletes going into the fall season. Parents and guardians in search of specialized bone, joint and muscle care for their athletes are encouraged to call 850-863-2153 to schedule a safe appointment in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Niceville or Crestview. Telehealth appointments are also available.

“Athletes’ safety in both the game and out in the world is our priority,” says Dr. Mark Tenholder, practice president and fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon. “In order to help ensure that they have the safest possible transition back into sports this season, my colleagues at Orthopaedic Associates and I have developed a list of guidelines and principles for them follow moving into fall.”

Student-athletes should exercise caution to help reduce the risk spreading COVID-19 while in groups but also to help reduce the risk of injury by adhering to these practices:

  • Know and follow the best practices of your school, association and venue: In addition to maintaining social and physical distancing as best as possible and respecting guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, players, parents and coaches should follow any state, local, school, league and venue regulations set to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • Be sure to get a physical: While many associations and schools require a physical before participation in sports, student-athletes should get a sports physical from a provider as soon as possible to ensure their safety when training. This includes athletes who are training individually.
  • Slowly and cautiously escalate training: Many guidelines have restricted overall levels of activity throughout the region. Student-athletes should exercise caution as they increase their training and conditioning. Rebuilding cardiovascular and muscular strength will take time, and all athletes need to pay attention to their limits and pains to avoid injury or illness.
  • Watch out for the heat: As summer continues, the risk of heat illnesses remains, especially for those who have stayed indoors for extended periods. Athletes should acclimate to sun and heat over time. They should also remember stretch before workouts, keep themselves hydrated and stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • Take care of yourself: When you're active, especially when you're increasing your levels of activity, your body needs the right fuel, so a proper, well-balanced diet is critical. You will also need to get plenty of water and fluids and pay attention to any warning signs from your body to avoid overtraining. You should also practice good hygiene — wash your hands, avoid putting your fingers and hands on your face, wear face masks or coverings when appropriate and avoid close contact with others when in public.

“We know that student-athletes, their parents and their coaches all feel ready for athletics to resume, and we also know there are a number of risks to think about, including the risk of injury,” says Dr. Tenholder. “We are here for our whole athletic community, and we provide high-level, specialized care and rehabilitative plans to athletes to help them heal after any injury and get back in the game safely.”

Orthopaedic Associates offers safe consultation in their offices in Fort Walton Beach at 1034 Mar Walt Drive, in Destin at 36474C Emerald Coast Parkway, Suite 3101, in Niceville at 554-D Twin Cities Blvd. and in Crestview at 5300 S. Ferdon Blvd. Their providers also offer telehealth visits to provide consultation for bone, joint and muscle problems. 

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with the sports medicine experts at Orthopaedic Associates, please call 850-863-2153.