Family Health: Youth sports overuse injuries

Arlington, Va. (WUSA9) -- Over the last 10 to 20 years, there's been an increase in overuse injuries in youth sports. This is a trend that is of concern to medical professionals, and it can lead to Tommy Johns surgery down the line. The procedure is becoming more common not only in pro athletes, but in teenage athletes as well. But with the youth

Dr. Matthew Levine of Inova Orthopedics and Sports Medicine says one of the main causes for the rise in sports overuse injuries is not participating in a variety of sports.

Dr. Levine says, "By not participating in other sports they tend to stress or strain the same areas of their body, over and over again. As they grow and as they are aging, they start to develop repetitive use injuries in those areas."

He also advises teenagers not to stress their bodies. It is better to take a break when in pain than to ignore it.

"The most important thing is to listen to their body. If they start to have pain, don't just work through it. Talk to your coach, talk to a doctor. There's often a little bit of rest and a lot of rehab, which can keep people participating with minimal out of sport time," says Dr. Levine.

And remember, overuse injuries can happen at any part of the body, not just the arms.

Dr. Levine says, "Overuse injuries in the legs with stress fractures, with tendinitis injuries from jumping and running are certainly common areas that you can get as well."

Wednesday, July 23rd during our 5:00pm newscast, we will have 2 doctors from Inova giving injury prevention tips for youth sports and concussion awareness.

Saturday, July 26th Inova is hosting a free sports event for parents, coaches, and youth athletes Saturday from 11 to 5 at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University.
The event will feature workshops, education, and exhibits from the regions leading sports medicine experts.


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