According to the Pediatric Association, in the United States more than 30 million children and teenagers participate in some kind of sport and suffer about 3.5 million injuries a year, which prevent them from participation in sports for a while. Almost one-third of childhood injuries are sports related.
Per Alex Pereda, D.P.T., the highly repetitive motion of throwing a ball and swinging a bat (over 1 thousand times a week) by males from preteen to the college age causes the most abuse, which can result in strains, sprains and muscle/ligament tears. In females, knee injuries are the most common and are predominantly seen in basketball, volleyball, and soccer players due to high impact while playing.
By knowing the causes of sport injuries and how to prevent them, you can create a more positive and safe sporting experience for your children.Dr. Pereda responded to us for the following questions:
What are the most common injuries?
Most sports injuries that we see at our facility include minor strains, sprains, tendon/ligament tears, and bone fractures of multiple body regions including the spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot.
Why do those injuries happen?
Those injuries are usually caused by aggressive contact sports but can also be due to non-contact sports in which physical/muscle fatigue or nerve-muscle firing (contraction) during high-velocity-impact running or jumping cause the injury.
How can we prevent those injuries?
Although injuries can never be fully prevented, they can be minimized by performing sport- specific exercises by training the body/muscles and joints in proper movement technique. New studies have proven that before playing a sport, one should warm up the body using light- to moderate-impact training and ballistic stretching to increase core temperature to a light or moderate sweat. Similarly, wearing the right type of shoes is important to avoid injuries. Finally, during high-impact and contact sports, learning to fall or roll properly is a must to avoid further injury from the ground.
What must be done when an injury occurs?
In case of any injury, the athlete should immediately stop and seek the opinion of a sports and orthopedic doctor such as an orthopedic surgeon or a doctor of physical therapy specializing in sports. Although ice and elevation are always recommended for any injury, an athlete should never assume an injury is minor and/or treat their own condition without proper professional advice.
For more information about sports injuries or other related conditions please contact Florida Occupational Healthcare at 305-274-3311.
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