This recent news item discusses the issue of sports injuries in young people, and outlines some of the “low impact” ways that parents, coaches and kids can help prevent them. It includes some common favorites such as hydration and stretching, as well as a conversation about learning good technique early, before bad habits can take hold.
But perhaps the most valuable thing young people can do to avoid lasting sports injuries is simply to stop: Stop playing that sport, stop performing that repetitive action – just stop, and let the body heal without the stresses of constant vigorous activity:
Resting is also important. Health experts say overuse is a common cause of injury that can have long-term effects as the athlete gets older. “We hear a lot about little league shoulder and little league arm, even tennis elbow, and those kinds of things are overuse injuries. A lot of times those growth plates get disturbed and you’re still as a child growing and you’re injuring those limbs,” said Tesoro.
My pediatric orthopedic practice sees kids of every age with these injuries, and we tell parents that rest is by far the most important prescription. As injuries become more chronic and severe, other interventions such as steroids and surgery may become necessary, but in the vast majority of cases, you can avoid these aggressive measures altogether by avoiding overuse, and just being a kid for a little while.
Trust me, they won’t mind.