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Young Athlete Overuse Injuries: Know the Facts

-Overuse injuries include stress fractures, tendonitis, and joint pain, and occur when athletes are required to perform the same motion repeatedly causing small amounts of trauma in tissues over time.

-Overuse injuries are more common in those ages 13-17 secondary to growth spurts causing slow bone mineralization as bones lengthen, tight muscles and tendons, and growing cartilage.

-According to research, boys and girls swimming and track participants are at the greatest risk.

-Female high school athletes are at a greater risk for overuse injuries than boys. “Girls and boys also differed in terms of when the injuries were likely to occur, with the proportion of overuse injuries decreasing in females from freshman to senior year, while it increased in males.”

-Playing one sport can also put athletes at increased risk. Because of this, athletes should vary their workouts and perform proper warm-ups and cool-downs.

-Growing bodies need proper nutrition and good sleep patterns to heal from the stresses of physical exertion.

-Your physical therapist can help to not only treat the source of pain, but prevent further injury by addressing strength deficits, flexibility, and train your body how to move to its best potential with motor control training.

“There are so many great aspects to sports participation, and we don’t want this information to scare athletes or parents,” said study author David Bell of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in a press release from the university.”We just want them to be wise consumers and to participate as safely as possible.”

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