Prevention and Treatment of Pediatric and Adolescent Overuse Injuries

Kaitlyn Sippel, California University of Pennsylvania

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Abstract Today, children do not participate in interscholastic sports alone; they are also members of club teams and travel teams outside of interscholastic play that are year round. Thus, the body is not allowed to fully rest before continuing to the next sport season. Overuse injuries can affect multiple parts of a young athletes’ body including the physis’ and the tendons. Because these overuse injuries affect multiple parts of the body, there are different ways to treat and prevent these injuries. An overview of the most common overuse injuries is presented with the most reciprocated ways to prevent each injury, therefore the purpose of this literature review is to investigate the current preventative measures and treatments for pediatric and adolescent overuse injuries.

Introduction Pediatric and adolescent overuse injuries are becoming more common as the number of children participating in athletics increases (Lord & Winell, 2004). Overuse injuries are defined as chronic injuries that have been related to constant, high levels of physiologic stress without sufficient time to recover (Hogan & Gross, 2003). Some common injuries are physeal injuries, osceochondritis dissecans, epicondylitis, epiphysitis, and tendonitis. Over the recent years preventative measures have been created to try to reduce the number of occurrences. For example, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) offered a position statement with recommendations on how to prevent pediatric overuse injuries (Decoster et al., 2011). Along with the attention given to the prevention of overuse injuries, there also needs to be additional consideration given to the treatment of these injuries so individuals are not tarnished for life, thus allowing children the opportunity to compete throughout their lifespan.

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