Common Injuries Among Young Athletes

Sports provide a challenging and rewarding part of life, but not without risk. Most athletes will suffer some type of injury during their career, with young athletes being a particularly vulnerable subsection of sports participants. Orthopedic and sports medicine professionals observe some common threads in young patients.

Joint Issues

The age of an athlete has a lot to do with the potential for injury. Adolescents may still be experiencing growth spurts and have not yet developed full balance and coordination, plus bones and joints are not at theirorthopedic_and_sports maximum strength. While learning sports and trying to perfect form, joints may be easily damaged due to improper motion. Young athletes are very eager and ambitious, so pain or tenderness in a joint can be ignored, presenting a hazardous situation with the potential for permanent damage. Coaches or instructors with little expertise in orthopedic and sports care may not know how to handle minor injuries and push their students past the capacity of joint or bone health.


Another potential injury that may result from lack of conditioning and improper motion is a sprain, which happens when your tendons or ligaments are stretched out of position, such as if you stumbled and your ankle is bent awkwardly. When a sprain occurs, these tissues must be allowed to heal completely before resuming sports, otherwise they will never contract back to their normal state and additional sprains are likely to occur.

Overuse Injuries

As a young athlete becomes more involved in his or her sport of choice, more time will be spent practicing and playing. Repetitive motions of throwing, swinging a bat or racket, or long durations of running increase the risk of an overuse injury. Carpal tunnel, bursitis, tennis elbow, shin splints, and runner’s knee are examples of overuse injuries, and should be considered major warning signs to parents, coaches, and orthopedic or sports professionals.

Athletics are of great benefit to young people, promoting fitness, teamwork, and personal achievement. Ensure your athlete is coached and trained by instructors who are knowledgeable in preventing sports injuries, and have the future of the athlete in mind.

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