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Overuse Injuries Common in Children Who Play Sports Year-Round

October 11, 2016
pediatric care specialists

Football, soccer, cross country, field hockey, and cheerleading are just some of the fall sports that are in full force at the moment. Many children are in the middle of their sports seasons, participating in strenuous practices and matches that can really take tolls on their bodies.

Many children have begun to specialize in a specific sport at a young age. While the official school sports season is taking place now, it’s possible that these kids are also playing on other teams year-round — even in the wintertime. While they have likely improved their skills greatly and become more physically fit (since they are working the same muscle groups over and over), they are more susceptible to overuse injuries.

Soreness is common among athletes, although it should not be taken lightly. Be sure to rest, ice, and elevate any sore wrists or ankles. If you begin to notice any swelling, tenderness, or if the child has trouble putting weight on the area, it is wise to seek attention from pediatric care specialists.

If the soreness affects the head, neck, shoulders, or spine, it is advised that you seek immediate care and treatment, as injuries in these areas can cause more long-term damage. Memory loss, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and impaired vision can often accompany head and neck injuries. If your child complains of any of these symptoms, do not allow them to continue playing and seek medical attention right away.

Common overuse injuries include tendinitis, shin splints, and runners knee, but overuse injuries can also come from long periods of physical activity without proper stretching and warm-ups.

While pulled muscles are often considered inconveniences rather than injuries, they should not be ignored. Especially in children, pediatric care specialists recommend that all injuries, no matter how minor, should be attended to because growing bodies take longer to recover.

Every year, about 6.8 million bones are broken. Many of these are due to excessive force, but in many cases, broken bones can be caused by muscle and ligament weakness around the affected area.

To prevent these injuries, it is important to remind your child to stretch properly before they take the field, go on a run, or participate in any other workout. Remind them to take enough time to recover from muscle fatigue by drinking plenty of water and eating healthy snacks like apples, peanut butter, and bananas.

If your child does endure a sports injury from overuse or otherwise, AFC/Doctors Express urgent care in Phoenix is available after normal physician hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days per week. Our pediatric care specialists are able to treat your child’s injuries and offer tips to prevent future injuries as well.