Tackling Youth Sports-Injuries.... Excerpt from Therapy Times
...According to Raphael Longobardi, MD, FAAOS, physicians are seeing more and more children with sports-related injuries. “Statistically, there are a greater number of opportunities for injuries due to the increased numbers of participants.” He often sees pediatric sports-related injuries at his practice, University Orthopedic Center in Hackensack, N.J.
Longobardi lists contact sports, such as football and hockey, as some of the most dangerous sports. He says soccer is also an at-risk sport, particularly for females because there is a four- to 10-fold increased risk of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female soccer players.
He says it’s important to ensure young athletes have the proper equipment, conditioning and strength training to prevent overuse injuries. According to Longobardi, youth sports leagues are often run by parents who do not always know proper warm-up techniques or how to size equipment, which often results in improper conditioning.
Longobardi also says participating in multiple sports is better than specializing in one sport at a young age. Neuromuscular development is improved by cross training, which produces a better-conditioned athlete and reduces repetitive motion injuries. “Participating in different activities requires the individual to use different muscle groups in different ways,” he says.
When an injury does occur, it is essential to visit a pediatric orthopedic specialist. Often, X-rays do not show a fracture at the growth plate because children’s bones are more malleable and may break in unexpected places or at angles that cannot be detected in an X-ray.