More and more, young athletes are being seen with injuries that are caused by athletic overuse. These injuries typically occur when the players use a repetitive motion consistently that puts stress on the muscles or joints, like pitching or jumping.
“We are seeing more young kids come in with overuse injuries that often times are preventable. These can be treated but can potentially lead to more significant injuries that can affect sports careers or lead to future surgeries,” said Dr. Scott Reynolds, an OrthoWest sports medicine specialist who performs surgeries at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital. “It’s important that kids try to get a break from their sports and not be pressured to over exert themselves.”
Avoiding Overuse Injuries
The best way to avoid these types of injuries is to ensure athletes are getting the proper rest between games and seasons. This could mean switching up sports over the seasons, like playing baseball in the spring and summer, and soccer in the fall and winter.
Coaches should also adhere to the pitch count recommendations set by organizations like the American Sports Medicine Institute so players don’t get fatigued and risk injury.
Other ways to avoid overuse injuries can include:
- Practicing proper warm up techniques before games or practices
- Lowering the frequency or intensity of play
- Educating players, coaches, and parents on overuse injuries and how to avoid them
- Working with certified athletic trainers to recognize overuse injuries
Another resource for avoiding youth sports injuries is Stop Sports Injuries. This group is dedicated to providing education and raising awareness of injury prevention, and extending a child’s athletic career by creating a lifelong love of exercise and healthy activity.
Players should learn to listen to their bodies and allow time for recovery. Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital offers Perfect Pitch, a sports medicine program consisting of injury prevention, rehabilitation, team education and mechanical analysis tailored to the demands of the baseball and softball athlete. Therapists provide expert instruction and care to reduce occurrence and re-occurrence of injury and improve overall athletic performance.
To learn more about Perfect Pitch or other sports medicine programs at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital, visit http://www.neorthohospital.com/our-services/physical-therapy/perfect-pitch-throwing-athlete.