Fall sports season has arrived for student-athletes across the country, which means it’s the perfect time for our orthopedist at Woodworth Orthopedics and Sports Medicine to discuss protecting our children from overuse injuries. There are many physical and emotional benefits to be derived from participating in sports while in school, but engaging in too much activity can pose injury risks.
Parents would be wise to keep in mind that young athletes’ bodies are still in the growth stages and this can put them at greater risk for injuries that could harm their growth and potentially turn into long-term health conditions. Overuse injuries tend to crop up slowly over time, especially during busy sports seasons when there may not be enough time to rest between activities. Parents should be aware of any persistent complaints of pain or soreness that may require taking a break from activity or seeking medical attention.
Many overuse injuries that are common to a number of sports occur to the knee and foot, while some are particular to specific sports, such as arm injuries to baseball pitchers and shoulder injuries to swimmers. Children’s bones grow faster than their muscles, which can put them at risk for muscle and tendon injuries.
To prevent these injuries, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends limiting the number of teams your child plays for during a single season; and avoid playing the same sport year-round. It’s recommended to take breaks and play other sports to develop new skills.
If your child is experiencing pain and/or swelling that can’t be linked to a specific injury like a fall; and if the pain increases with activity and improves with rest, please contact our orthopedist at Woodworth Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. We have the experience and diagnostic tools to pinpoint the source of the problem and recommend treatment options. Early intervention can make a big difference in the severity and recovery time, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today with any questions and concerns.
By Woodworth Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
August 29, 2023