Acute injuries are typically the result of a single, traumatic event within the last five days. Common examples include wrist fractures, ankle sprains, shoulder strains/dislocations, and muscle strains.
Overuse injuries are subtle and usually occur over time, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. They're the result of repetitive micro-trauma to the tendons, bones, and joints. Common examples include swimmer's shoulder, "little league" shoulder/elbow, runner's knee, jumper's knee, Achilles tendinitis, and shin splints.
Chronic injuries last over a prolonged period of time, usually three months or greater.
Why do Injuries Occur?
- Improper training and technique
- Lack of correct equipment support
- Anatomic or biomechanical issues of an athlete
- Catastrophic event on or off the field
How can I tell if my child is injured?
Most children will let you know when they are hurt, but for those kids who try to tough it out, parents and caregivers should watch these signs:
- Avoiding weight on a certain body part
- Experiencing stiffness in the joints or muscles
- Dizziness, light-headedness, headaches or weakness
When to Stop
Stop the activity immediately if your child experiences sharp, stabbing pain. Playing through pain may make the injury worse and probably cut your child's season short. Prompt diagnosis and effective treatment could get your athlete back to their activities quicker.
Watch for Burnout Symptoms
Kids need a psychological break to avoid burnout and overtraining. If your young athlete is experiencing some of these symptoms, it might be time for a break.
- Chronic or nonspecific muscle or joint pain
- Personality changes
- Decreased sport or academic performance
- Lack of enthusiasm about practice or competition