Three Common Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes and How to Avoid Them

overuse injury

Some kids live, eat, and breathe sports. They wake up early to stretch, go to school, and head for practice or weight training in the evening to continue sharpening their craft. Sadly, this kind of physical workload often leads to another destination: A trip to the doctor for an overuse injury. 

While young athletes do not often consider the consequences of their intensified toil, they are paying a price. Read on to discover the most likely injuries sustained by young athletes and how to prevent them. 

Why Do Injuries Occur?

Young athletes who specialize in one or two sports view their training regiment as their path to future success. Any deviation from this pathway could prove detrimental to obtaining their overall goals. 

According to recent studies, overuse injuries account for nearly 50% of all medical visits by young athletes, and 70% of single-sport players are more likely to sustain an injury. This is often the result for young people who hone their abilities with year-round training. 

What is an Overuse injury?

An overuse injury occurs “from repetitive stress over a period of time.” In essence, to sustain an overuse injury, someone must participate in a repeatable action over and over again. 

It’s always possible to do something once and be injured in the process. It is more likely that by participating in the same act more than once, the risk of injury is intensified. Throwing a baseball once may not be an issue, but do it 150 times, every day, and wear and tear will soon begin to develop.

Common Risk Factors

Watch for the following risk factors when considering overuse injuries.

  • Imperfect mechanics
  • Year-round training
  • Underdeveloped strength and conditioning
  • Lack of pre-work and post-work stretching

Most Common Injuries

Three of the most common overuse injuries are Sever’s Disease, Osgood-Schlatter/SLJ, and Little Leaguer Elbow. 

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s Disease is an “inflammation of the growth plate at the calcaneus or heel bone.” Young athletes who suffer from this disease typically feel pain when their heels are squeezed, from repetitive jumping or landing. 

Osgood-Schlatter/SLJ 

Osgood-Schlatter/SLJ is an injury diagnosis of the knee. Often referred to as “jumpers knee,” children diagnosed with either of these typically have knee pain just below their knee cap or on the very top of their shin bone. Soccer and basketball are common offenders to this injury. 

Little Leaguer Elbow 

Little Leaguer Elbow is a “general term used to describe when a child experiences elbow pain due to excessive throwing or overhead activities.” As the name suggests, athletes commonly experience pain in their elbow, causing strain in the ligaments, chronic inflammation, and sometimes leading to fractures.

Injury Prevention

The best way to prevent injury is to take time off. Let your body heal and recover from overuse. This will be formidable for muscle relaxation and the release of strain. 

Another helpful practice is to make regular visits to your trainer or physical therapist to ensure your body’s full range of motion and to discover potential injury-proneness in weaker regions of the body. 

Call Country Roads Physical Therapy Today!

Make time for physical therapy, so you can continue playing the sports you love most. 

With our state-of-the-art equipment, aquatic facility, and ASTYM/Functional Dry Needling treatment options, our hands-on techniques are perfect for treating aches, winter injuries, age-related pain, and other muscle and body pains. 

Make an appointment or find additional information at www.countryroadspt.com. We have locations in West Fairmont, East Fairmont, Buckhannon, Wheeling, Morgantown, and Whitehall, West Virginia.

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