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Overuse Sports Injuries Could Shorten Your Child’s Athletic Season Before It Gets Started

Students everywhere are preparing to say goodbye to the lazy (or crazy!) days of summer and head back to school, but for some students the new school year has already begun as many athletic programs have launched strength and conditioning camps in preparation for their intensive preseason practice schedules. As a parent of a young athlete, you can be proud of your child’s hard work and commitment, but you may want to provide a word of caution to your budding superstar. Hard work and training are essential to success, but overwork and overtraining can be counterproductive and, sometimes, downright damaging.

Athletic overuse injuries are on the rise, and the problem is becoming almost as pervasive as the obesity problem among our youth. An overuse injury is caused by repetitive movement of the same muscle group without sufficient rest to allow for the natural reparative process to take place. This can result in micro-traumatic damage to the muscle, bone, or tendon leading to varying degrees of pain and swelling depending on the seriousness of the injury. Adequate stretching and proper form in movement along with sufficient rest of the muscle group can help prevent these injuries, but sometimes your child’s desire to practice (or your desire for your child’s athletic achievement) is stronger than his or her body.

If your child does develop this type of injury, the best course of action is to first evaluate its magnitude. If it only hurts when the movement is being made, have your child stop the movement, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, and put some ice on it. If the area continues to hurt for hours after its use, bring you child to Hillcrest Medical where our caring, professional team will assess the injury and give your young athlete the best possible treatment to help insure his or her athletic success now and for years to come.

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