Kids today play harder than ever when they’re on the field or court. Even recreational teams get competitive with kids giving as much as they can so their team can win. Unfortunately, some kids give too much. They overextend themselves, fall, or crash into another player. Below are a few of the most common pediatric sports medicine injuries and how you can help your child get through them.
Sprains of any kind are common in sports medicine, but ankle sprains are especially common in kids when they’re playing on uneven surfaces. A sprain occurs when you roll or twist your ankle in an awkward position, stretching or even tearing the ligaments that hold your bones together.
While you can treat many sprains with self-care (follow the PRICES model of protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation, and support), you should still take your child to see a doctor. They can confirm whether the injury is a sprain or a fracture and if additional measures need to be taken.
Shin splints are one of the most common sports medicine injuries for runners. If your child spends most of their time running on the soccer field or down the basketball court, then they could experience serious shin pain.
Shin splints are also known as medial tibial stress syndrome or a stress fracture in the tibia or fibula. Symptoms can range from mild pain to severe burning and tightness. If a doctor diagnoses your child with skin splints and requires a period of rest, they may still approve the use of non-impact activities like biking or swimming to help your youth athlete stay in shape.
Knee problems are becoming increasingly common in pediatric sports injuries. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia noticed a 400 percent increase in knee injuries related to sports in just 10 years. Of this, one of the most common injuries that increased was a torn ACL.
While some knee injuries can also be treated with the PRICES model, severe knee problems can require physical therapy and can sideline a player for months. Doctors recommend treating knee injuries which particular seriousness because they can become worse if they aren’t treated properly.
Strained or Pulled Muscles
Pain in your child’s muscles may develop if they overexert their muscles beyond their normal range of motion. The muscle fibers tear, causing a pulled muscle. Often, the pain is sudden, and the athlete will have to leave the game and walk off the court immediately. Most athletes will be out for a few days because of a pulled muscle, but they may need additional therapy with the help of a sports medicine practitioner.
This injury occurs when the tendons in your elbow are overworked because of repetitive motions from the wrist and arm. Despite its name, tennis elbow occurs in a variety of athletes and people who do the same motion throughout the day. Pain from tennis elbow may make it difficult to do basic day-to-day things like turn a doorknob or hold a cup.
While rest and ice are the two main treatments for this sports injury, your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever in severe cases and require extensive rest from the sport.
You should always take injuries in youth sports seriously. Small tears or sprains could turn into major breaks with long-term problems if they aren’t treated appropriately. The team at Alexander Orthopaedic is here to treat your pediatric sports medicine injuries so your kids can get back on the field better than before.