Kids can suffer overuse injuries, prevention can help

January 4, 2013 7:19:01 PM PST
Whether it's from over-activity, or improper techniques, a growing number of young athletes are falling victim to repetitive motion injuries. But medical experts say there are ways to prevent long term damage.

Good left handed pitchers are hard to come by. But 10-year-old Ian Nord can also bat, catch and even play soccer well.

In May, playing pitcher and catcher nearly cost Ian his throwing arm. Repetitive motion coupled with year round play means little rest and recovery for young athletes. This increases the risk of overuse injuries. Ian's left elbow was on fire.

"It hurt pretty bad," said Ian.

"He was doing what's called a side-arm throw, so where he kind of drops the elbow to get the throw through, instead of bringing it nice and through, kind of overhand, getting the elbow up and around," said Tracy Zaslow, MD, from Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Zaslow treats both children and professional athletes. Sensors are tracking Ian's precise movement patterns during a test. Zaslow will then use motion analysis to make adjustments in his technique.

"Our main goal is to work to identify these issues before and injury happens," said Zaslow.

Ian knows how to protect his elbow, but his results reveal he's in danger of future knee injury. Zazlow will work to show him proper running, jumping and stopping techniques.

Other tips include: don't play through the pain, stop and rest, make sure you're hydrated, play different sports to exercise complimentary muscle groups, apply ice to sore areas 15-20 minutes after a game or practice. Those are changes Ian is hoping to make.

"I follow it because I don't want to get injured again and go through all those tough times again," said Ian.

To find out about the different types of sports injuries that commonly affect children and additional advice on treating them click here on this link.


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