Sports Injuries and Prevention in Young Athletes

Overview

Sports have been a source of certain positive attributes to the society since long. It not only makes people enjoy physical fitness but also gift them a massive peace of mind that apparently boosts their confidence level in day to day life. With the passage of time this act of mental or physical or both activities attained a global value. This led to the initiation of sports events at international level. Olympics, being one of the most popular clusters of sports events, make it possible for a huge number of people to be involved in playing or at-least watching of a variety of sports activities. The Olympian young athletes not only make a huge number of people to be provoked towards physical activities but also make them witness the positive outcomes of sports in the prevention of a variety of physical as well as mental medical issues.

Injuries in Young Athletes

This is worth mentioning that any sort of carelessness may leads to one or the other type of sports injuries that may be avoided by doing small efforts. Reports reveal that majority of the commonly occurring sports activities may be happened because of accidents, adopting of inappropriate training techniques and avoiding of right equipment. The injuries occurring in young athletes may or may not be similar to that faced by adult ones because of their bodies which are not fully developed like adult athletes. Some of the frequently faced injuries by the young athletes include;

Knee Injuries

This is one of the most commonly occurring sports injury usually faced by those athletes who play such games where they be come in contact with other athletes like Football etc. This condition is characterized by a damage occurred to a specialized sort of ligament located in anterior part of the knee joint which is known as Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). In past such kind of injury was merely observed in adult athletes but in present era a huge number of young athletes are also seen with such issues.

There are several reasons behind this happening including engagement of young people indifferent types of sports in early ages. Over burdened physical activities performed under serious competition is another cause of such injuries in young athletes. Researchers of Hospital for Special Surgery, U.S.A concluded that such kind of injuries is usually found in professional young athletes who are going to be specialized in a single kind of sports and are doing extensive physical work.

Such injuries are usually treated via ACL reconstructive therapy in adult as well as young athletes. But it is important to mention that such kind of therapy may also give rise to associated risks of uneven limb length or any other such problems. Limiting of young athletes to a certain optimum range of physical activity per day may also reduce chances of such injuries.

Back and Neck injuries

Such kinds of injuries are rarely occurred in young athletes. But if a young athlete faces such an issue, he or she is likely to be indulged in a serious frustration. Because such young athlete will only be able to re join the professional career after a crucial rehabilitation protocol. Such injuries are produced because of sprains of ligaments or strains of muscles present in back or neck region or both.

The reasons of such injuries in young athletes include body imbalance during running in the field, abrupt bending or twisting of the body during the game like gymnastics or any other accidental happening that may result in modification in the normal anatomy of head and neck region ligaments or muscles.

Treatment of such injuries must not be initiated without a proper diagnostic protocol that usually includes Magnetic resonance imagination of the soft tissues of the targeted area of the body to reveal the exact cause of the injury.

North American Spine Society believes that the back and neck injury may be of one or the other type as given below;

  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Stinger
  • Disc Injury
  • Scheuermann’s disease

Prevention of Injuries in Young Athletes

American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that following steps may prevent injuries in young athletes;
Atleast one day in a week should be the off days to allow body regain its normal rhythm.

  • Periodic breaks must be taken during the training as well as games must be taken to prevent illnesses and injuries.
  • Excessive fluid intake must be done to prevent injuries.
  • Lighter clothing also helps in reducing risks of injuries.
  • Warm up must be done before start of exercise or game.
  • Practice to stretch body Pre and Post games also assists in avoiding injuries.

The Injury and Illness Performance Project (IIPP)

The elimination of injuries and illnesses are associated with the athletes. It cannot be fully eradicated. Still, we may attempt to reduce the chances of such events. A project was designed to study such events for a broader range of purposes. This project is termed as the Injury and Illness Performance Project.

International Olympic Committee researched the extent of injuries occurred among the athletes participating in a variety of games in Beijing Olympics in 2008. The English players were found to be with lowest rate of injuries. Soon after that study, a multipurpose pioneer of its kind study on injuries and illnesses epidemiology in a variety of sports was conducted by collaborative efforts of “U.K Sport Research and Innovation Team” and “English Institute of Sport” in 2009. This study involved 14 different Olympic sports. This study was started in 2009 and is still going on. This study has unveiled certain facts till now which are discussed below;

67% among all the British athletes that discontinued their training for Olympic Games were because of injuries of one or the other kind. 43% of athletes will get a minimum of one injury in each season. An average of every single injury results in absence of athletes in 17 days of training and missing of atleast one competition. The extent of injury occurred in training is usually less severe than that occurred during a competition. Injuries occurred to Knee, lumbar spine and shoulders mediate maximum loss of days of training.

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