Sports participation offers a host of benefits for children, including weight management, social skill development and team-building skills. But there are downsides as well. Every year, millions of young athletes end up in the emergency room or doctor’s office with a sports-related injury.
From sprains and strains to shin splints and Little League elbow, a variety of conditions can bring sports participation to a halt.
Acute injuries occur suddenly, often after a collision or other trauma. Examples include sprains, fractures, torn ligaments, eye injuries, concussions and spinal cord injuries. Contact sports such as football or basketball may spring to mind but baseball players may also suffer acute injuries from high-speed balls, mid-field collisions and improper sliding.
Overuse injuries occur when repetitive actions put too much stress on bones and muscles. Inadequate warm-up; increased duration, intensity or frequency of activity; improper technique or equipment; and playing the same sport year-round can all contribute to an overuse injury.
Reinjury can happen if a child returns to a sport before he or she has properly healed from an injury. Letting the body fully recover from an injury is essential. Otherwise you’re placing extra stress on the injury and forcing the body to compensate for the weakness, which can lead to another injury.
Diagnosing and treating overuse injuries quickly can help ensure they don’t turn into larger chronic problems. The solution may be as simple as taking a break from the activity or modifying a technique.
The first step and perhaps the most important to prepare a young athlete for participation and to prevent injury is an annual student physical.
On August 3, Methodist Center for Sports Medicine Sugar Land will host Pre-Participation Physicals and Health Expo from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Wheeler Field House, 16403 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479. The clinic is open to Middle and High School students. There will also be a sports medicine physician on-site for EKG and cardiac screenings if indicated during exam.
The cost is only $20 cash. Be sure to also bring the UIL Physician Evaluation form which can be printed off our website, MethodistOrthopedics.com/sl_StudentPhysicals. Please RSVP to AthleticTrainer@tmhs.org or 281-340-6420.