Over the years, we have learned a tremendous amount about the physiology, biomechanics, and technique of children and young adults who participate in sports. This advancement in knowledge has allowed young athletes to become faster, stronger, quicker, and more efficient.
Acute injuries are often obvious and can cause the immediate onset of pain. In some circumstances, the initial injury is not dramatic and may not require the person to discontinue the activity. However, sub-acute or chronic injuries can sideline a young athlete.
In an effort to improve athletic ability, children and adolescents are often specializing in one sport and participating in that sport year-round. Whether it be on a team, in camp, or even in the backyard, year-round sports can lead to fatigue and injury.
We do not yet know how much time is too much time in gymnastics practice, or running or even playing basketball outside. We do believe, however, that performing multiple sports over the course of a year allows for different muscles to be used and for others to be rested. A period of rest and time without any major sports participation is also beneficial.
Another important recommendation is to prepare for the upcoming season well in advance. In general, a graduated schedule of increased activity with appropriate stretching is effective in preventing injury. With appropriate training, rest, and conditioning, we hope to prevent many injuries and keep our young athletes safer.
OrthoConnecticut is an orthopedic practice dedicated to the highest quality patient-centered care and the promotion of medical excellence in the community. Its surgeons provide complete orthopedic treatments for children and young athletes for the full range of musculoskeletal issues, at nine locations. The practice’s new, walk-in urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open with extended hours, seven days per week for sprains, breaks and injuries in four conveniently located office locations: Norwalk, Westport, Darien and Danbury. For more info, call 833-ORTHOEX or visit myorthoct.com.