More than half of all common sports injuries in children and teens are from overuse.
Common overuse injuries in sports include: shin splints, stress fractures, runners and jumpers knee, tendonitis and bursitis, and tennis elbow.
Overuse injuries occur over time and are the result of micro trauma to tendons, bones, and joints.
Stages of an Overuse Sports Injury:
Stage 1: pain or discomfort disappears during warm up.
Stage 2: pain or discomfort disappears during warm up but reappears during activity.
Stage 3: pain or discomfort gets worse throughout activity.
Stage 4: pain or discomfort is constant lasting all the time .
Factors that Contribute to Common Overuse Injuries?
1. Training Errors: rapid acceleration of intensity, duration, or frequency of activity; poor technique
2. Muscle Imbalances and/or Biomechanical Issues
3. Poor Equipment (ex. shoes with poor support, repetitive impact on hard surfaces, etc)
Tips to Prevent Common Sports Overuse Injuries:
1. Perform proper warm up and cool down before and after activity
2. Cross-train: adopt a hard-easy workout regime, avoid the “no pain no gain” theory, increase weekly training by no more than 10% per week, supplement sport specific training with strength training to address muscle imbalances
3. Allow adequate rest: Athletes should take off at least 1 day per week from organized sport; Athletes should take a combined 3 month off per year (can be spread out in 1 month increments) from a specific sport, but remain active during that time
4. Avoid specializing in one sport before late adolescence
Early identification and treatment of overuse injuries can allow continuation of activity. If you are an athlete, have a child who participates in sports, or a coach – consider scheduling a FREE 30 minute consultation about how we can help you identify, treat, and avoid overuse injuries. Click Here to schedule at a clinic near you!
American Academy of Pediatrics: Care of the Young Athlete Patient Education Handout (2017)
Matava, M. (2010) American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine: Stop Sports Injuries.
By: Madison Lee DPT