Playing sports as a child has multiple benefits, but certain risks can accompany youth sports. Children are more prone to repetitive stress injuries than adults, who often suffer acute injuries. These injuries occur when the child repeats certain motions, placing stress on the musculoskeletal system.
Some causes of repetitive stress injuries include swimming, swinging a tennis racket, and running.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know to prevent repetitive stress injuries from our experienced doctors at Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Prioritize recovery and rest
One of the chief causes of repetitive stress injuries is when your child pushes their body to its max without proper rest and recovery time.
Getting enough rest between competitions, practices, and games helps the body recover fully and prevents the muscles from becoming overworked. They should take rest periods after each activity and at least one full rest day every week to prevent burnout.
Partake in a variety of sports
Another way to help prevent repetitive stress injuries is by encouraging your child to participate in several sports. Known as cross-training, partaking in multiple sports promotes healthy muscle development and prevents the same muscles from taking on all the stress each season.
While cross-training is good, this doesn’t mean your child should join multiple sports teams each season. Instead, encourage them to play different sports each season, allowing them to train their entire body.
Don’t skip the sports physicals
Nearly all youth sports require children to get sports physicals before playing; if it is not required, you should still ensure your child gets one.
Sports physicals ensure your child is healthy enough to participate in the sport. If there are any underlying health problems, a sports physical may identify them.
Promote pain-free playing
While it’s common to hear “no pain, no gain” in sports, teach your child the importance of listening to their body.
They should never try to fight through the pain; instead, they should take breaks and rest often. Fighting through the pain can lead to more serious problems down the line. It is better to take a short break for a few days than risk an injury that could sideline them for weeks or months.
If the pain doesn’t improve, contact Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center for an exam. Call us or schedule an appointment online so we can help your child return to their sports pain-free.