Friday, July 12, 2013

Prevention of Overuse Injuries in the Middle and High School Athlete

There are 2 main types of injuries that occur in sports – Acute and Overuse. An acute injury is one that occurs as a result of a single traumatic event. Examples include fractures, acl tears, ankle sprains and shoulder dislocations. In contrast, overuse injuries occur over time and are the result of repetitive micro-trauma to the tendons, elbows and joints. Examples include stress fractures, little league shoulder, runners knee and tennis elbow. 

Overuse injuries have been on the rise over the past few years. Over 50% of overuse injuries are also preventable. Equipment, training and communication are all imperative to prevention and early detection.

Causes of Overuse Injuries:
  •  Training errors
  • Poor Technique
  •  Improper surface for practicing/conditioning
  •  Excessive Pressure from Peers/Coaches
  •  Improper Equipment – shoes are VERY importan

Guidelines for Prevention:

  • DO NOT have kids “play through the pain” – Avoid the “No Pain, No Gain” attitude
  • Avoid early specialization in one sports: vary the sports & activities that kids participate in
  •  If you suspect an athlete has a sports injury, seek medical attention EARLY
  • Communicate with Athletes: Ask how they are feeling and encourage them to rest
  • Mandate Pre-Season Physicals
  • Encourage Proper Strength Training Routines
  • Enforce Warm-Up, Stretching & Cool Down Routines

If athletes are injured at a young age, this can set them up to drop out of sports completely.  If this happens, kids lose out on the benefits of exercise and participation in Team Sports.  Early injury can also lead to arthritis and other chronic conditions that can last a lifetime.  Athletes are also more susceptible to future injuries.  We want to encourage coaches, trainers & parents to facilitate an environment where kids can enjoy a lifetime of activity and sports. 

If you suspect that you have an overuse injury, Skyview Orthopedics is here to help. Contact our office to make an appointment: 973-300-1553.