Reducing The Risk Of Injuries In Springtime Sports

April 12th, 2019 Becki Andrus

Reducing Springtime Sports Injuries

As springtime emerges it can be an exhilarating time of the year. The days are longer, the temperatures become more comfortable, and the number of outdoor activities increases by a considerable margin. This includes participation in organized sports activities.

But as more people of all ages become more involved in sports activities during the spring, it serves as a reminder that the potential for injuries from the participation in these activities also becomes more prevalent. The Government’s Center for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) has stated that the number of sports-related injuries rises as participation in recreational activities expands.

This is certainly the case for children, as the potential to play sports such as baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, and lacrosse will rise. There are also sports that can be played indoors such as basketball that take on a new degree of interest with the prospects of playing them outside amid comfortable weather conditions.   

This contributes to the estimate of 3.2 million emergency room visits every year for children between the ages of 5-14. In fact, injuries from organized and unorganized sports activities combined will result in 775,000 visits to emergency rooms for children of those ages. Sports-related injuries are also the primary reason for trips to urgent care facilities and emergency rooms between the ages of 12-17.

The CDC also states that around 80% of all visits to emergency rooms for children 5-14 are due to involvement in contact sports including baseball, basketball, and soccer.

Common Sports Injuries For Children And Adolescents

Strains and sprains are among the most common injuries that can occur during sports activities, along with pulled muscles, shin splints, and both tennis elbow and little leaguer’s elbow – which are due to repetitive use.

The participation in contact sports also maintains the risk of concussions, and dislocations. ACL tears are another unfortunate result from these activities, and girls are eight times more likely to contend with a torn ACL than boys. This takes place in part due to differences in mechanical movements of the knee when attempting to jump, pivot or land.

It is also noteworthy that around 62% of sports related injuries actually take place during practice as opposed to games.

How To Reduce The Chance Of Injuries

CDC also estimates that approximately half of all childhood sports-related health issues injuries can actually be avoided if certain precautions are taken to decrease the chances that they will occur.  

These include making sure all children and adolescents take a physical exam before they begin any new sports activities. For children and adolescents, it is also critical to make sure that any sports activities are supervised by trained adults that are knowledgeable about the activities, and make sure that rules are followed that are designed to protect everyone involved.

Proper stretching and warm up before playing a sport can also reduce the risk of health issues, as can making sure that all clothing fits properly and all protective gear is correct for each particular activity.

It is also important to ensure that children are matched up correctly with others who are of similar age, size, and skill level. First aid kits should also be available at all times during sports and recreational activities.

It is extremely important to avoid continued play for anyone who is dealing with pain.  Instead, a visit to a doctor is necessary before your son or your daughter become involved in any additional sports activity.

While the focus of this article has been increased participation in sports and recreational activities for children and adolescents during the spring, many of the same recommendations toward reducing health risks will also apply to adults

That includes the need to take a physical exam prior to involvement in a new sports activity or exercise regimen that also exists for certain adults, including anyone who suffers from chronic diseases.

Also, anyone who has the additional risk for dealing with chronic conditions should discuss potential sports activities with a doctor before they become involved with sports activities or increased exercise. This is particularly true for women age 50+ and men that are 40+.

It is also wise to establish realistic goals for yourself if you decide to become involved in a new exercise regimen. A discussion with your physician is also recommended.

At Orthopedic Associates, We Are Here To Help

At Orthopedic Associates, we want you and your family to enjoy any sports or recreational activities that you have been cleared to participate in. If you encounter discomfort, illness, injury, or have a concern about anything that might keep you from being involved in physical activity, we are here to assist you, so that you can return to a pain-free participation in the activities and lifestyle that you prefer.  

That is why Orthopedic Associates offers a full spectrum of musculoskeletal care, along with in-house physical sports therapy, and state-of-the-art-technology including our digital imaging and open MRI, and an on-site surgical center for more patient convenience.

Our board-certified doctors have been practicing medicine for a combined total of 183 years. This includes expertise in sports medicine, through which our physicians provide personalized care for a broad range of sports-related injuries – big or small.

In addition to the services that we provide that are related to Sports Medicine and In-House Imaging, our physicians are always available to utilize their knowledge to help you should you require joint replacement, or arthroscopic surgery, while our specialists are also here to assist with physical therapy, rehabilitation, and orthopedic trauma.

While the severity of injuries can vary, we treat a full range of sports related health issues that include conditions that can be minor, serious, or anything in between. The types of injuries that we can assist you with include:

  • ACL Tears
  • Fractures
  • Weight lifter’s shoulders
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Meniscal injuries and tears
  • Sprains and strains
  • Tendinitis
  • Dislocations
  • Labral Tears
  • Minor injuries like bruises, muscle cramps, pain, and shin splints

Some of the more common symptoms from a sports injury include: 

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Tender joints and bones
  • Loss of ability to place weight on the injured joint
  • Loss of ability to move the injured joint
  • A joint or bone that is visibly out of place

Sometimes injuries will slowly emerge over a period of time, and these issues are referred to as chronic injuries. They often occur due to activities that involve repetitive motion such as running, swimming, or throwing. The symptoms of chronic injuries include:

  • Pain during exercise
  • Dull aches during resting
  • Swelling

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or have any questions are sports related injuries, we encourage you to visit one of Orthopedic Associates two locations or request an appointment today to be on your way to feeling better.

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