Repetitive stress on muscles and joints without adequate rest and appropriate conditioning can result in chronic or overuse injuries in athletes of any age. Experts believe that overuse injuries account for fifty percent of all youth sports injuries, but half may be preventable.
Children are especially vulnerable during the growth spurt at the beginning of adolescence. The growth process can result in a unique set of injuries among young athletes, including Osgood Schlatter's disease and Sever's disease, Little League elbow, patellofemoral pain syndrome; and stress fractures caused by overuse and/or repetitive stress over time.
Here are five ways parents, coaches and athletes can help to reduce the number of repetitive stress injuries in children and adolescents.
1. Proper education and supervision.