Avoiding Orthopedic Injuries in Young Athletes

As a specialist in pediatric orthopedic care, I field a lot of questions about how to treat and prevent sports injuries in young athletes.

It is an evergreen topic, especially as our nation’s athletic organizations seem to push ever younger in their search for greatness and marketability. The pressure faced by youth athletes in basketball, baseball, and tennis, just to name a few, is considerably greater than it was just a few years ago before the sports media began focusing so closely on its farm system.

If you have a child who practices all day and excels at competition, you are likely looking for ways to protect his or her body as it grows and matures – and to prevent the kind of injury which could derail the whole effort before it really gets underway. One easy way to keep your kids safe: watch out for signs of overuse:

An overuse injury is an injury to a bone or muscle that develops over time as the tissue undergoes repetitive stress and is not given enough time to heal and recover. Growing tissue in children and adolescents makes them susceptible to overuse injuries, and they can develop specific injuries not seen in adults with fully mature bodies. In fact, about half of all sports injuries in young athletes are from overuse.

These subtle injuries can quickly graduate to full-blown crises, which is why it is essential to rest and restore often. Young athletes need a few months off each year from a given sport, and their repetitive activities such be delimited as much as possible to encourage variation and stretching.

To begin a consultation with an expert in sports medicine for kids here in San Diego, contact AOSM today.

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