The Overuse Epidemic of Sports Injuries in Kids

I have written about this before: many sports injuries in young people could be prevented by providing more reasonable timelines for rest, and creating longer offseasons. We could also help kids avoid injury by reducing the emphasis on single sport specialization, and dialing back the pressure overall.

It seems I am not alone. The American Medical Society of Sports Medicine recently issued a statement on the same problem, citing one member with a commonsense prescription:

“More and more kids are having adult-type surgeries,” she said, some from overuse or repetitive injuries. That kind of surgery, that was preventable. That didn’t have to happen. They throw too hard, too fast and they pitch through the pain…The risks of playing year-round are not only injuries, but burnout and getting sick of what they’re doing,” Bergeson said.

What’s the answer? Rest more. Relax more. Be a kid more. You can train hard when it’s time, but be sure and “clock out” enough to give your body time to recover, heal, and grow.

Ironically, too many injuries from overuse in a person’s early years can eliminate any chance of participating on a professional level in adulthood. So play the long game. And stop playing so much.

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