• What are Overuse Injuries, and How Do You Prevent Them?

    July 19, 2017, by admin

    The rise in the number of young people participating in organized and recreational sport has led to an increase of sports-related injuries. There are two types of injuries that happen to children: acute and overuse. Acute injuries are the result of a single, traumatic event, such as a sprained ankle or a dislocated shoulder.

    On the other hand, overuse injuries are repetitive actions that cause a lot of stress and trauma on the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. These injuries are often subtle and occur over a period of time, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. Examples of overuse injuries are tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, shin splint, and ACL tear.

    Causes of Overuse Injuries

    Overuse injuries happen when there is an increase in the intensity, duration, or frequency while playing a sport, without giving enough time for the body to fully recover. The injury can also be exacerbated if the excessive physical activity is combined with inadequate warm up, improper technique, or unsuitable equipment.

    Prevention of Overuse Injuries

    To prevent this type of injury from happening, have the child learn about proper form and technique from a coach or trainer. Any increase in training intensity should not be more than 10% at any given time. Avoid sports specialization until late adolescence; instead, encourage the child to try out a variety of sports.

    Also stress the importance of having a rest day to recover both physically and mentally. If an overuse injury persists, consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor to come up with a more detailed treatment plan for your child.

    At the end of the day, the goal is to help your child become a well-rounded person who enjoys doing physical activities. An overuse injury can sideline and blindside your young athlete, so make sure to promote a healthy balance of play and rest.

  • 8 Ways to Prevent Summer Sports Injuries

    July 12, 2017, by admin

    Summer is a great time for children. After being dormant for most of winter, most of them are raring to come out and play in order to make the most out of the warm weather.

    Unfortunately, some of these summer sports activities could inevitably lead to injuries, if the child and the parents are not being careful. Children are more at risk for sports injuries because they are less coordinated and have a slower reflex than adults.

    It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Don’t let it be your child. To reduce your child’s risk of getting injured, make sure they do the following:

    Be prepared. An improper technique and poor form can take its toll on the body. Before giving them your permission, make sure they know how to play the sport and understand the rules of the game.

    Warm up and cool down. Remind them to warm up before practice sessions and actual games, and to cool down after they have finished playing.

    Stay hydrated. Don’t wait until your child gets thirsty before asking them to drink. Make sure the kid stays replenished by having them drink water before, during, and after an activity to prevent heat-related injuries.

    Wear protective gear. Always check if your child wears protective gear all throughout the game.

    Have qualified adult supervision. You won’t be able to watch every game, but having a qualified coach around who knows how to respond to emergencies can be a huge relief.

    Have fun, but know your limits. If your kid is trying out a new sport, advise them to be patient and learn to work their way through it.

    Take time off. Make sure the kid is taking a day (or two) off every week. Taking regular breaks prevents overuse injuries and allows the body to recover and heal naturally.

    Consult with a professional. If your child suffers from a knee, ankle, or shoulder injury, consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor for treatment options.

  • Is It Growing Pains or Something Else Entirely?

    July 5, 2017, by admin

    In a previous blog post, I’ve already discussed what growing pains are, and how to treat them. Growing pains are quite normal, and are a somewhat painful reality that every child has to go through on their way to adulthood.

    Growing pains are often a delayed reaction to an extremely physical activity done earlier in the day. Unfortunately, they can also be confused with other serious medical conditions, which is why you need to be on your guard when your child is complaining about achy limbs. There are many illnesses associated with aching limbs among young children, such as chronic rheumatic disease and childhood arthritis.

    It can be tricky to differentiate growing pains from other medical problems, but here are the four signs to watch out for:

    Pain is experienced in the morning. Growing pains usually happen in the late afternoons or early evenings, and are often gone right away. If pain continues to persist in the morning, there could be something more to it.

    Pain is in the joints. Growing pains are usually located on the calves or behind the knees. They do not manifest in the joints.

    Pain affects only one area. Growing pains are usually bilateral in nature, meaning the pain happens to both sides of the body. If your child’s pain occurs in one leg—not in both legs—it could be a symptom of something else.

    Pain is visible. Growing pains should not leave behind any signs, so if they are accompanied by bruising, swelling, rashes, or redness, it could be something else entirely.

    No one knows your child better than you. When in doubt, it is always best to consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor to rule out other diseases. Having an early diagnosis is the key to your child’s recovery and healing.

  • Elbow Injuries Among Young Baseball Players

    June 29, 2017, by admin

    Now that summer is in full swing, you’ll find most children playing outside and enjoying the sun. Unfortunately, some popular summer sports can also cause injuries if you and your kid are not being careful.

    Some of these injuries frequently happen in the baseball field. According to Johns Hopkins, more than 100,000 children from ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries. The sport also has the highest fatality rate among children aged 5 to 14, with three to four dying from a baseball injury each year.

    Pitching Fatigue

    Little pitchers who throw too many pitches are prone to injuries more than any other baseball players. Here are two of the most common elbow injuries that happen to young players:

    UCL Tear

    The ulnar collateral ligament connects the humerus (arm) to the ulna (forearm). The ligament may tear up due to the repeated stress that comes from throwing away too many pitches.

    The UCL injury may require a “Tommy John” surgery, named after a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who was the first to undergo a UCL reconstruction procedure.

    Little League Elbow

    While the UCL tear is an injury to the ligament, the little league elbow is an injury to the growth plate. This injury is also caused by repetitive throwing motions. During a throwing motion, a lot of pressure is placed on the inner elbow. The growth plates, which haven’t fully developed yet, become overused and are more prone to injury.

    Many sports injuries can be prevented by using proper form, wearing protective equipment, and watching out for early signs of muscle fatigue or pain. If your little pitcher experiences inner elbow pain, have him or her stop playing immediately. If the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) does not improve the elbow’s condition, then visit a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor for a more comprehensive treatment plan.

  • Be Careful: Injuries are Prevalent During Summer

    June 22, 2017, by admin

    After being cooped up indoors during the winter months, children are now taking advantage of the fine weather by doing a lot of playing and exploration. As a result, there’s usually a spike of ER visits among children during these hot summer months, based on my experience. Most of these kids suffer from injuries that happened in the playground, baseball parks, swimming pools, and bicycles.

    Unfortunately, if you and your child are not being careful, doing physical activities over the summer can result to injury. Children jump right into the full swing of activities after being inactive in the last couple of months, making them prone to injury. These four injuries are the most common among children:

    Sprains and Strains

    A sprain is an injury to the ligament, while a strain is an injury to a muscle.

    Growth Plate Injury

    The growth plate is a tissue area at the end of a long bone that is still developing. Growth plate injuries are called fractures, and they happen to children and young people.

    Repetitive Motion Injury

    If an activity is repeated often enough, it could cause stress on a child’s muscles and tendons, resulting to acute traumatic injuries or chronic overuse injuries.

    Preventing Summer Injuries

    Injuries can and will happen. But don’t let these prevent your children from having the best summer of their lives. Instead of banning your children indoors, you can encourage them to take part in organized sports through clubs and communities that are being maintained by professionals.

    Also get them proper equipment. Make sure they’re using a shoe that’s appropriate for their sports and playing surface. And as always, keep them hydrated. Make warm-ups and cool-downs a permanent part of their routine.

    Treatment of Summer Injuries

    If your child suffers from injury this summer, the first thing to remember is to implement RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Get professional help if the injury is severe. If the pain does not subside after a while, or if a shoulder or a knee bends the wrong way, consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor right away.

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