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Overuse Injuries
Overuse Injuries

Overuse Injuries (4)


What is an Overuse Injury?

One of the biggest issues facing our youth is overuse injuries. According to Safe Kids USA, over 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth athletics. More than 4 million of these children will suffer an injury requiring medical attention each year. This is at a cost of billions of dollars to the US economy. Even more alarming is that 50% of these injuries are overuse injuries that are completely preventable. Additionally, many of the acute injuries, the quote-on-quote accidents, are also preventable with better equipment, training, and technique.

Overuse injuries are more common and more difficult to diagnose and treat than acute injuries. This is because they can be very subtle and usually occur over time and are the result of what’s called repetitive micro-trauma. A microtrauma is a small injury that can occur to bone, muscle, tendon or ligament. Examples are microtears to muscle fibers, stress to the tendon or bruising of the bone. When this happens over and over again an overuse injury can develop.

Common examples of an overuse injury include tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee, swimmers shoulder, Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures.


Signs & Symptoms of an Overuse Injury

Symptoms usually develop gradually and can be long lasting. Classic symptoms include pain during activity, ache/sore at rest, and swelling. There is no known cause or event (i.e. my foot just started hurting. Felt fine during the run and then poof! Got off the couch and could barely walk on it).

Unlike acute injuries where you are dealing with specific symptoms that began with a specific injury, overuse injuries are much more gradual in their onset. Often times, athletes describe these types of injuries as “starting out of nowhere”. Sometimes there can be small warning signs, such as muscle stiffness or a dull ache in the days and weeks leading up to the injury, but more often than not there are no signs at all. It doesn’t help that the early signs and symptoms are things that most athletes chalk up to being the normal aches & pains of training.

The following maybe signs and symptoms of an overuse injury:

  • Gradual onset of pain
  • Pain presenting as an ache
  • No history of direct injury
  • Stiffness or aching after or during training or competition
  • Increasing periods of time for pain to go away
  • Point tenderness
  • Visible swelling
  • Missed training sessions as a result of pain or injury
  • A problem that persists (doesn't go away)

 

How Can I Prevent An Overuse Injury?

Most overuse injuries can be prevented with proper training and common sense. Overuse injuries can heal quickly in children, but they require complete rest of the injured area while it heals.

Players should be aware of their physical condition. Even seemingly minor injuries should be treated appropriately. Injuries tend to increase as players fatigue, so adequate rest is essential. Players should also warm-up and stretch prior to any practice or game, and warm-down and stretch afterwards.

Many injuries can be prevented with:

  • proper conditioning and training (especially cross-training). Incorporating strength training, increasing flexibility, and improving core stability will also help minimize overuse injuries
  • sport-appropriate protective gear
  • sport-appropriate equipment

 


ARTICLES:

Monday, 13 February 2012 13:57

Youth Basketball Athletes and Their Joints

Written by
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:02

A New Breed of Knee Injury in Young Athletes

Written by
Increasingly large numbers of children, both boys and girls, are now suffering A.C.L. and knee meniscus tears, injuries that were uncommon 20 years ago, and doctors aren't sure why. Sometimes physicians will notice a medical trend well before science confirms its existence. That has been the case with injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament, the main ligament that stabilizes the knee joint, in young athletes. “Doctors who treat kids have all been saying over and over that the numbers of A.C.L. tears are going up dramatically,” says Dr. J. Todd Lawrence, an orthopedic surgeon and pediatric sports medicine specialist at…
Source: Stop Sports Injuries - WebMajor League Baseball pitchers return to regular season action next week. For the most part, these pitchers have put in 10-20 years to get where they are now. But a new study in the February 2011 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine shows that getting to this point might be a dangerous journey. Glenn S. Fleisig, PhD et al. studied 481 healthy pitchers aged 9-14 and followed them for 10 years. While the majority of the pitchers retired from baseball for normal reasons, such as losing interest or not being good enough to…
By Nicholas Brown — AB Associate Editor - Web Despite widespread awareness of an upward trend in catastrophic and sometimes fatal injuries to young athletes, legislative action has been slow to follow. This according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, which points out that although at least 75 bills in 32 states and the District of Columbia related to youth sports injuries have been introduced this year, only five have been signed into law.“It is disappointing that so much legislation been introduced, yet so little has been passed,” NATA president Marjorie J. Albohm, MS said in a recent press release…

Program Stats

Physicals/Heart Screens Given 0 2 0 1
Baseline Concussion Tests Given 0 0 0 0
Coach/Team Moms CPR/AED Certified 0 0 0 7
Kids Trained in Hands-Only CPR 0 0 5 6
Available A.E.D. Loaners 0 0 0 1
Assisted Registrations 0 0 0 8
Free Sports Clinics Held 0 0 0 4
         

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What's Being Said?

Christina Ramos Lovato
2013-04-11, 08:21
Listening to Sasha was an eye opener, listening to her mom was a tear jerker. No parent ever wants their kid hurt! & you never want their dreams crushed. Thanks LVSF, Sherry Clinton, & Sasha Pina for not holding back & sharing all the emotions that have come with Sasha's injury. (PASS Community Outr...