Pediatric overuse injuries increase due to year round, one sport training

Parents may look toward athletes such as Tiger Woods, who began golfing as a toddler, and hold that immersing a child in a single sport at a young age will produce a professional-level athlete. However, in most cases, our sources noted that excessive practice most likely leads to injury rather than perfection.

“Parents think the more you pitch [for example], the better you are going to be in terms of playing further into college or into the professional level, but we believe, as physicians, the more you throw at that level, the less chance you have of a long career playing baseball or moving on to the next level because of the overuse injuries we see limiting these players long term,” Grant L. Jones, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and professor at Ohio State University, said. 

Overuse injuries that go untreated, are not properly rested, rehabilitated or subsequently avoided through proper techniques, can progress to additional injuries and permanent limitations. “[Young athletes with overuse injuries] are more prone to injury at a younger age and more prone to injury at a higher level as they throw into their older years,” Jones said.

Typically, young athletes are advised to rest the injured joint about 3 months before they return to the particular sport. James R. Andrews, MD, of Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, said, “Fatigue is the big factor in youth sports,” which he said has led to a 10-fold increase in overuse injuries since 2000. “For example, in youth baseball, our research at American Sports Medicine Institute, shows that if you pitch with fatigue, there is a 36-to-1 [increased likelihood that] you can injure your throwing shoulder or elbow,” he said.

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Autor / Fonte:healio