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Preventing Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes

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Over the past decade, the number of people playing sports has grown tremendously. While so many athletes are playing sports, it’s no surprise injuries are common. Every time you play sports or exercise, our body encounters a certain level of physical stress. This stress can further translate into something positive as it can toughen up your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. However, if you take on too much physical activity too quickly, you may risk getting an overuse injury. This mainly occurs due to repetitive action or trauma.

Overuse injuries can affect anyone. It is quite common in children and adolescent athletes because their growing bones cannot handle the same stress levels as that of an adult. Also, their inability to detect warning signs makes them vulnerable to this type of injury.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 30 million children and adolescents take part in youth sports all across the United States. Whereas, overuse injuries accounts for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.

Overuse injuries are preventable. Here are some key tips you may adopt to prevent this type of injury:

1. Conduct a physical evaluation before the start of each season.
2. Use proper gear, equipment and technique.
3. Gradually increase your workout regimen.
4. Always warm up and stretch before you start any activity.
5. Switch your workout routine from time to time.
6. Let your body recover and heal properly after the workout.
7. Immediately stop your activity if you notice any lingering pain.

If you are showing certain signs of overuse, you may want to talk with a podiatrist regarding care and treatment plan. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we specialize in sports related foot and ankle problems that you may be facing. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco and his highly trained staff can help you treat your injury and get you back to what you do best, playing sports! You can contact us at our Somers Point office at (609) 927-4894 to schedule an appointment. We serve the Atlantic and Cape May County in the New Jersey area.