Regardless from how the injury occurs, young athletes unfortunately find themselves hurt. In the event of an injury, you need the best possible care team by your side to help them get back in the game.
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is the area’s leader for sports medicine treatments, both for youth and adults. Our skilled team of providers will help make a proper diagnosis and develop a treatment plan based on their specific symptoms.
Learn more about the available youth sports injury treatments on our blog!
Most Common Youth Sports Injuries
The fact is, some injuries are just a result of bad luck. Between planting your foot the wrong way on a grass or turf field, landing on someone’s foot after a rebound, incidental contact, and more, there are numerous ways a young athlete can hurt themselves through no fault of their own. In fact, nearly 2.6 million youth athlete visit the emergency room in a given year.
Different sports will have different injuries that are more common than others. For instance, a baseball or softball player is more likely to experience an arm injury. Meanwhile, a basketball player or cheerleader has higher odds of a sprain of the knee or an ankle.
While many ER visits are due to some sort of ligament tear or traumatic injury (such as a concussion) the bulk of injuries that would require youth sports medicine in Kansas City are the result of overuse.
Though physical activity is crucial for youth and adolescent development, too much of the same activity can actually be quite harmful. This particular problem is something our experts see as more youth athletes focus on specialization in one sport. Though there are numerous benefits to becoming a well-rounded, multi-sport athlete, many parents and athletes understandably feel the allure of focusing on one sport, in order to become as good at that sport as possible.
Unfortunately, the downside of sport specialization is that the repetitive, often intense motions that come with that approach leads to overuse. Single sport specialization can make certain parts of the body disproportionately stronger than others, and microtrauma can build over time. That’s why the most common injuries that require youth sports medicine in Kansas city tend to be issues such as:
- Strains & sprains
- Stress fractures
- Osgood-Schlatters disease
- And more
It’s important to remember that young athletes are still growing, and their bones have growth plates that often differentiate their injuries from ones suffered by adults. That’s why adults need to be mindful to approach their athlete’s health much differently than their own and take measures to prevent these issues.
Preventing Youth Sports Injuries
There are a ton of benefits to participating in youth sports. It’s a great way for young athletes to get exercise, stay healthy, be part of a team, and learn valuable life skills. The good that comes from sports far outweighs the bad, and the potential for injury shouldn’t be a deterrent. The best approach as a parent is to take measures to mitigate injury risks. Below are some of the most notable.
Get a preseason physical
Getting a physical before the start of any school year or sports season is a great way to catch certain issues before your athlete begins their sport. The truth is, not all young athletes might be fit to play contact sports because of a specific health issue. Your physician can use a preseason physical to determine any potential conditions that may prevent or limit them from participating.
Get the proper equipment
This is important both in mitigating traumatic injury risks and injuries from overuse. If your athlete is a football player, a hockey player, or a wrestler, three sports with consistent physical contact, it’s important to always wear proper fitting headgear and a mouth guard to avoid concussions. For sports like football and hockey specifically, having ill-fitting shoulder or knee pads can also increase your exposure to a contact injury.
For sports that don’t have as much contact but plenty of repetitive motion, having proper-fitting equipment is essential. Think of how much soccer players, track and cross country runners, or basketball players run during a given event. Having ill-fitting shoes in these sports can lead to pain and discomfort in the short-term, and more significant damage in the long-term.
Take time to rest
This applies both during the season and after the season. Practice is important to becoming a better player, but it’s important for your young athlete to not overextend themselves. Rest and recovery are important to avoid fatigue both mentally and physically.
Resting doesn’t mean stopping activities completely, however. It may simply mean taking time to recover by modifying a strength training program or integrating stretching into a training regimen to allow your muscles, ligament and joints time to heal and recover.
Additionally, with year-round specialization becoming increasingly common in youth athletes, it’s important to know the benefits of taking time away. Even the top professional athletes in the world have an offseason! In fact, even top experts recommend taking at least one month off between sports seasons.
Don’t rush back from injury
Many athletes are hyper-competitive and want to prove their toughness. Culturally, we tend to glorify athletes who play through injury or come back quicker than expected, describing them as “gritty” or “warriors”.
However, rushing back too quickly from an injury greatly increases the risk of re-injury, or an injury to a different area of the body. No parent or provider wants to see a young athlete sitting on the sideline due to re-injury.
Before getting back in the game, they should get complete clearance from their sports medicine provider in Kansas City, who will ensure they have no pain, swelling, and a complete range of motion.
Youth Sports Medicine at KCOA
In the event that your athlete does suffer an injury, it’s critical to put their care in the best hands possible. Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance offers both the most advanced youth sports medicine treatments in Kansas City, as well as proven techniques for properly evaluating and diagnosing sports injuries for athletes of all ages.
Making sure that youth athletes have access to prompt and specialized care is crucial for making a full recovery that allows them to be at the top of their game. In addition to traumatic injuries, the repetitive, often intense motions that sports provide put them at a greater risk for specific chronic injuries. With the sports medicine expertise offered by our providers, we can help your young athlete mitigate their risk of sports injuries.
Our process starts with an evaluation and a collaborative discussion between you, your physician, and the athlete themself. From these, we can develop a personalized plan for youth sports medicine treatment based on their specific needs. Some of these treatments may include:
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
- Activity modification
- Or surgery
Each of these methods ultimately has the same end goal: to reduce pain and increase mobility. Sometimes, this may involve a combination of these different treatments. How quickly your athlete returns to play ultimately depends on multiple different factors, including the severity of the injury, how demanding their sport is, and the effectiveness of their recovery.
Throughout the process, their provider will consistently evaluate the status of their injury and remain in constant communication to ensure a safe, efficient return and an optimal outcome. Youth sports are great for so many reasons. Our goals should align with your goals and focus on your youth athlete’s optimal recovery, their safe return to sport, and their long-term health.
Learn More About Youth Sports Medicine in Kansas City – Contact Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Today!
At Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, we’re dedicated to creating a superior patient experience for all. Regardless of the location or severity of your young athlete’s injury, our team will work with you to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Scheduling an appointment with one of our providers allows us to find the best treatment option for their needs. If they suffer an injury that requires youth sports medicine in Kansas City, it’s important to turn to a highly qualified team of expert providers.
Using the highest quality technology, we can pinpoint the exact underlying issue of their pain and develop a personalized treatment plan that gets them back in the game like they never left. Additionally, we can provide information on how to avoid re-injury or other common injuries in the future.
For a thorough evaluation, call us at (913) 319-7600 or use our symptom tracker tool.