Kids' Sports Injuries
In Marshall’s experience, overuse injuries are becoming more common than accidents.
“Many kids want, or feel the need, to play the same sport year-round, to maintain that spot on the coveted travel team or elite team. So we’re seeing more injuries related to overuse,” he says. “If you do nothing but play tennis year-round, you’re using the same muscles in the same fashion over and over. Same thing if you’re a pitcher in baseball.”
Again, Marshall focuses on prevention:
- Consider mixing up your sports: Play football in the fall, basketball in the winter, soccer in the spring, etc.
- Use your muscles in different ways, not just repetitive motions.
- If your child plays one sport year-round, preseason physicals should focus on overused muscles.
“For example, if you know your kid is only going to play baseball all year and he’s a pitcher, a good preseason sports physical will include a really close look at his shoulder muscles,” Marshall says. “Or if she’s a competitive cheerleader or a tumbler, look at the core, the lower back."
He also recommends physical therapy before the season. "For any sport, injury management starts with injury prevention."