Overuse injuries are becoming increasingly common, especially among young athletes. These injuries occur due to repetitive strain on the body and can be difficult to spot until they become severe. This is particularly problematic when young people are pushed into high-level sports pathways too early, coupled with high training and game hours, which can lead to injuries such as Osgood Schlatter’s and Sever’s Disease. This article explores how to avoid overuse injuries in growing populations.
To avoid overuse injuries, it’s important to start with a graduated and appropriate training program that aligns with the individual’s age, developmental stage, and level of skill. Overloading a young person’s body with intense training too early, too fast, or for too many hours can cause stress on their developing bones and muscles, leading to overuse injuries.
It’s also important to monitor the amount of training and competition hours that young athletes participate in. The Department of Health in Western Australia recommends that children and young people participate in a maximum of 11 hours of organised physical activity per week. This includes both training and competition hours, and any additional physical activity they may engage in outside of organised sports.
Ensuring adequate rest and recovery time is also critical in preventing overuse injuries. Young athletes should have at least one day off per week, and adequate time to recover between training sessions and competitions. Adequate sleep, good nutrition, and staying hydrated are also essential in promoting recovery and overall health.
Proper technique and form should also be emphasised when training and playing sports to avoid overuse injuries. Correct technique can help reduce the strain on the body and prevent injuries from occurring. It’s important for coaches and parents to ensure that young athletes are using proper technique and not pushing themselves beyond their limits.
In conclusion, the high incidence of overuse injuries are a significant concern in growing populations, particularly among young athletes. Preventing these injuries involves a combination of proper training, adequate rest and recovery time, monitoring of training loads and intensity, with also an emphasising on proper technique and equipment. By taking these steps, young athletes can reduce their risk of developing overuse injuries and enjoy a safe and involvement in healthy athletic activity. Seeking specialist health advice and physiotherapy assessment of musculo-skeletal imbalance, during and following growth spurts, is valuable in the prevention and treatment of overuse injuries in young athletes .
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Disclaimer: It is important to note that the information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult your healthcare provider or contact us directly for further physiotherapy guidance.