Sports Injuries - Pediatric
Accidents happen. After a minor sports injury, many young athletes recover with rest and time away from the sport. If an injury is more serious, further treatment may be necessary.
- Dislocated joints
- Growth plate injuries
- Pulled, strained or swollen muscles
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Tendon injuries
Symptoms vary depending on the injury, but common symptoms include:
- Being unable to place weight on the injured body part
- Joint immobility or difficulty moving joints
- Pain or tenderness in the injured area
- Swelling of the injured area
- Visibly dislocated joint or bone
- Schedule a physical before the child begins playing sports to ensure he or she is healthy enough to participate.
- Make sure the child uses the right equipment, shoes and clothing for his or her sport.
- Encourage the child to warm up before playing, as well as cool down and stretch afterward.
- Tell the child to stop playing if he or she feels hurt.
- See Thrower's Ten workout to help strengthen shoulder muscles.
All sports carry some risk for injury, but some participants are at a higher risk due to:
- Growth spurts or imbalance in children
- Improper technique
- Playing sports without warming up or stretching
- Medical history and symptom review. The healthcare provider will ask about sports participation, how the injury occurred, any previous injuries and current symptoms.
- Physical examination. The doctor will examine the child’s injury to determine what treatment is necessary.
- Imaging. Depending on the child’s injury, X-rays, MRIs or CT scans may be necessary.
- Conservative options include the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation), over-the-counter pain medications and splinting.
- Physical therapy may be recommended to help safely exercise the area, regain strength and range of motion or prevent additional damage.
- Surgery is recommended for severe injuries that won’t respond to more conservative treatments.
- Children should limit activity while healing.
- The injury should be completely healed before the child returns to the sport.