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Update on Overuse Injuries
Youth sports, and travel sports in particular, are more popular than ever. Unfortunately, along with all the positive parts of kids’ sports (there are many) is an alarming increase in injuries, especially overuse and repetitive motion types. Injuries happen in all sports at all ages. They involve sprains, strains, broken bones & concussions to name a few.
The spike in injury trouble is caused by increased pressure to win, multiple sports schedules, year-round participation. “More is better” is another!
Overzealous Parents & Coaches?
Some classic examples of overuse injuries are arm and shoulder in young pitchers, foot, shin and knees in running sports, to name a few. These types of injuries are generally not acute like a “just happened” ankle sprain. They are more gradual, with no specific occurrence and are more difficult to identify. Usually indicated by soreness, discomfort and pain that is recurring with the sport’s demands. “The terrible 2s”, also referred to as “too much, too often” is an example of the condition that lead to overuse. Specialization in one sport at young ages is of concern with repetitive motion injuries- using same muscles, same way too often.
Parents Need To Be Keenly Aware
Parents and coaches need to be keenly aware of these problems. They should listen. They need to pay close attention to complaints from their young athletes. Relying on over the counter pain and anti-inflammation meds to continue participation is NEVER SMART! Making sure that persistent soreness or pain complaints are paid proper attention IS SMART- as is proper rest and recovery! Often recurring overuse injuries are body type, muscle imbalance and foot type related, ( like chronic heel, arch, knee and shin pain’s relation to flat or pronated feet). Have your youngster evaluated by sports physician or physical therapist to identify and correct these concerns if problems persist. Pay attention; be vigilant!
Dr. Bob Weil is a sports podiatrist & hosts the popular live radio show “The Sports Doctor”, Weds, 3-4pm CST on bbsradio.com/thesportsdoctor
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