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March Madness Youth Sports

Welcome to March Madness sports talk! It is that time to discuss some common sports related injuries for youth, what to do if an injury occurs, expectations of recovery, and how to prevent future injuries.

Across the United States, approximately 30 million youth participate in sports. Of those, about 3.5 million will encounter some sort of injury during their sports participation. Recent statistics show that basketball is the sport which yields the most injuries, followed by football, soccer, and baseball. The most common injury involves either sprains or strains typically of the knee, shoulder, ankle, or back. Other common injuries include fractures, shin splints, tendonitis (such as golfers or tennis elbow), patellofemoral syndrome (patellar tracking issues, swelling, pain, and weakness) and concussions (you should know the common symptoms which include headache, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, slurred speech, light sensitivity, confusion, and delayed response to questions).

The first line of treatment, for any injury, follows the RICE method.

Rest (avoid/reduce daily physical activity, even if that means holding off on sport related

activities during healing)

Ice (15-20 minutes every couple hours)

Compression (bandage wrap to help reduce swelling)

Elevation (above heart, when possible).

Recovery from injury will depend on the extent of the injury and physical therapy is a valid option to help aid with the healing/recovery process.

Ways to help avoid common sports related injuries include proper warm-up techniques, avoiding overexertion, proper muscle strengthening, wearing proper gear/footwear, and remaining mindful during major growth spurts. Most important thing to remember is Know Your Limits – you know your body the best and how much you can do.

-Angeline Petersen, PT, DPT

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