Sports injuries can occur in two ways: suddenly or over time. Injuries that happen over time occur less dramatically than acute injuries, but they can be just as harmful to the body or an individual’s long-term sports potential.
Repetitive stress injuries are damage to joints, muscles, bones, nerves, or ligaments caused by overuse and repeated strain over time.
In this blog, the sports medicine care providers at Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, P.C., located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, share information about preventing repetitive stress injuries in young athletes. By taking some essential steps, such as the ones outlined below, you can protect your child’s body and their athletic future.
About repetitive stress sports injuries
Repetitive stress injuries in young athletes usually occur because of actions performed over and over. For example, baseball pitchers may sustain repetitive stress shoulder or elbow injuries from throwing. And runners may experience knee or hip injuries from the impact of frequent running. Repetitive stress injuries may also develop in young swimmers, basketball players, tennis players, dancers, and gymnasts.
Virtually any young athlete is susceptible to these injuries, which may cause pain or poor performance, require the athlete to take a break from a sport and may eventually require surgery.
Protecting your young athlete
As a parent, you can help your child or teen avoid repetitive stress injuries by taking the following steps:
Proper training: Ensure your child has a well-educated coach who can create a training program that avoids unnecessary repetition and cross-training. Proper training includes careful warm-ups, cool-downs, and strength-building.
Adequate rest: Your child’s body needs time to rest and recover after training and playing a sport.
Top-quality injury care: If your child sustains a sports injury, they should receive proper care from an experienced sports medicine care provider, such as our specialists at Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, P.C.
Prompt symptom evaluation: Don’t wait to see if swelling, pain, stiffness, or other symptoms related to sports performance resolve on their own. Ignoring early signs of a repetitive stress injury can lead to it worsening.
Adequate time for healing: After treatment, a young athlete’s body needs time to fully heal before resuming training. As healing time varies, consult and follow the plan of a provider.
Expert guidance: A sports performance evaluation from our providers can identify potential repetitive stress injuries before they happen. Our specialists offer guidance on specific steps your child or teen can take to avoid injury in their sport, as well as advice on obtaining expert coaching.
Dedicated to healthy athletes
Our specialists look forward to helping athletes stay healthy and achieve optimal performance. To schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine providers, call our office at (609) 248-6520 or request an appointment online.