Given that youth sports and injuries go hand-in-hand, it’s important to know what to look out for when it comes to the most common occurrences. Whether you’re a parent, a coach or just an interested spectator, increased familiarity with these four injuries will give you the information you need when you’re inevitably looking into chiropractic treatment for sports injuries.
1. Ankle Sprains
Sprained ankles are so ubiquitous that they’re not only the most common injury in youth sports, they’re probably the most common injury in sports, period. Also sometimes called “turning” or “rolling” an ankle, a sprain happens when the twisting motion damages part of the ligaments supporting the ankle. Stretching before strenuous activity significantly reduces the risk, but in the event of a sprain, immobilize the affected ankle and gently exercise it after the swelling has gone down.
2. Little Leaguer’s Elbow
Formally known as medial apophysitis, Little Leaguer’s Elbow is common among young athletes that throw an object repetitively, such as pitchers in baseball. The repetitive motion causes drastic pulling and stretching in the ligaments and tendons in the elbow. Pain is usually first felt on the inside of the elbow and should be an indicator to stop an activity. If the tendons and ligaments continue to be aggressively stretched in this way, they can begin to tear away from the bone. This can ultimately result in deformity as it disrupts the normal growth of the bone.
3. ACL Tear
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are unfortunately becoming increasingly common in youth sports. Sometimes caused by a collision with another player that results in a hard blow on the outside of the knee, this injury can also occur in lieu of an impact. Jumping, landing or turning suddenly can also cause the child to hear or feel a popping sound in the knee followed by a complete inability to continue the activity. The entire area begins to swell within hours, and a trip to a physician or orthopedic surgeon should soon follow as most ACL tears in children require surgery.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is a specific type of knee pain that can appear as a painful bump on the tibia (shinbone), just below the child’s knee. Usually experienced during the growth spurts associated with puberty, it is most common among children involved in sports with a lot of running, jumping and quickly changing directions. Swelling and pain just below the kneecap are the first signs of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Resting the affected knee is best for most cases, but if the pain persists and starts to disrupt your child’s daily routine, it’s probably a good idea to call your local doctor or physical therapist.
If you have a child that has experienced one or more of these injuries, it might be time to look into chiropractic treatment for sports injuries in Waterford, MI.