Are you the parent of a young athlete? Perhaps your child is at the top of his or her game in their respective sports, and you may see strong potential in them to become a professional athlete or acquire a sports scholarship. If so, preventing overuse injuries should be a key part of your game plan as your child advances. The competitive nature of many sports can result in some parents encouraging their little athletes to participate in strenuous sessions of training and active sports play.
Some workouts performed during training periods or active sports play may result in muscle aches, but all reports of pain from your child should be referred to a medical professional to rule out the possibility of an overuse injury. Instead of teaching your child the old adage of "No pain, no gain," try a new approach. For example, "Less to gain by enduring pain." This is basically an alternative motto to encourage your child to report incidents of pain, and a reminder that there could be less to gain by not reporting their pain. For example, training with an overuse injury marked by pain could eventually result in your child having to sit out of active sports participation for the rest of the season or indefinitely.
If your child trains outside of a group setting, ensure that they are not using the same workouts repetitively. Doing the same workouts repetitively could result in overuse injuries due to the same stress being put on the same joints and bones. You could use your child's sports coaches or an orthopedist as resources for developing training plans that will incorporate total body workouts. Buy a calendar, and write down the workouts that should be completed each day. Also, time monitor the sessions to reduce the chances of injuries occurring.
Ensure that training plans allow for your child to have a rest day or two. This allows for their developing bodies to recuperate from the stress of training. It can also serve as the appropriate time to take care of academic requirements or have leisure time outside of training. Demanding that your child trains every day could have more of a negative impact than overuse injuries. For example, your child could lose interest in the sport due to being pushed too hard to achieve.
If your child does sustain an injury, it does not necessarily mean that they will never be able to achieve their dreams of playing sports at the professional level. However, the severity of these types of injuries may impact their participation level and affect their future performance, which is why some orthopedists refer their patients to orthopedic surgeons when the desire to continue playing sports is present along with an injury. Visit Town Center Orthopaedic Associates for more information.