With almost 30 million kids and adolescents playing sports in the USA, it should come as no surprise that kids can get injured. Contact sports and extreme sports are the primary culprits, but there are other factors at play.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, around 3.5 million kids have suffered some form of sports injury at some point. While injuries and accidents can happen when playing sports, many injuries are preventable. In this post, we will take a closer look at some common sports injuries in teenagers and how they can be prevented.
Different kinds of sports bring various risks, but generally, injuries can be categorized into two different types—acute injuries or overuse injuries.
Acute injuries are usually the result of trauma or a high impact, which can result in injuries such as sprains, fractures, and concussions. Teenagers who practice extreme sports or contact sports are at increased risk of these injuries, especially if they don’t use the correct safety equipment.
Overuse injuries can happen when a player performs regular, repetitive movements. Overuse injuries such as tennis elbow, tendonitis, and stress fractures can cause many problems if left untreated. These types of injuries are becoming more common in sports like baseball, tennis, and soccer, where the players might push themselves to reach a higher level.
As mentioned, different sports come with various risks, but the list below will highlight a few of the common issues associated with different sports.
Football: Sudden, quick movements and high-impact challenges can lead to sprains and strains such as ACL tears. Plus, there is a risk of concussions.
Baseball: Tendinitis and bursitis can affect many different areas of the body. For example, pitchers may suffer from overuse injuries, which can cause inflammation in the shoulders and wrists. Other common issues include strains, back and neck pain, and rotator cuff injuries.
Soccer: Many issues associated with football occur during soccer. Some teenagers may suffer from Achilles tendonitis and shin splints.
Tennis: Overuse can lead to injuries such as ligament and muscle sprains. Ankle and knee injuries are also quite common.
Athletics: Many injuries in track and field are caused by overuse. Strains and sprains are very common, as well as ligament tears.
How To Prevent Sports Injuries
Most sports injuries can be avoided by using these simple steps.
Warm-up and warm-down: You should always warm-up before you start playing your favorite sport. This will help your muscles and ligaments loosen up, and it will significantly reduce the risk of muscle strains and ligament injuries.
Use the right equipment: Making sure that you wear the correct safety equipment, as well as well-fitting sports shoes, can help protect your body and help you avoid any imbalances that can lead to injuries.
Pay attention to your body: If you feel sore or notice that something doesn’t feel right, stop playing immediately. Rest and don’t start playing again until the pain has gone away.
Diet and hydration: A balanced and healthy diet will help to strengthen muscles and bones while staying well-hydrated aids movement and blood flow.
Do what your doctor tells you: If you have an injury, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. Just because you’re feeling better doesn’t mean that you are good to go. Returning to action before you’ve properly healed can lead to further injuries and extra time on the sidelines.